Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The End of NaNoWriMo

It is finally here! Brant did an awesome job at 57,623 words on his story, which from what I have heard so far is awesome! I hope to write a little more tonight, but so far I am at around 37,000 words and some change. Not bad, all in all. They goal is not to write just 50,000 words, but to get writers' behinds in gear and write that story they always wanted to. And I did that. The competitive side of me is brooding, but the creative side is very happy.

I have one final song that inspires me, and I think the title makes it fitting as an end for this process that comes once a November. It is called Dante's Prayer by Loreena McKennitt, and it is a mixture of love and sorrow that really gets my writing moving. Believe it or not, hardship is my story's bread and butter (I apparently have a small evil streak, ha ha). Enjoy!

Hopefully soon we will be putting tidbits of the new stories on the blog to wet your apetite for more writing. Until then, write on!

P.S.: I know I didn't post songs for days 27-29, so if you are interested, these are the ones that I had picked out.

Day 27: Ubi Caritas, which is Latin for "where there is charity and love, there is God." Used in the creation of my story's hero.

Day 28: Solace by a-Ha, one of my favorite bands. I actually used this when trying to get into character for my story's heroine, who suffered a devastating loss. Also I chose The Heart Asks Pleasure First from The Piano, just because I love hearing the simple intricacies of that song.

Day 29: A Stevie Wonder song sung by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Higher Ground is an energetic song that is my action-writing playlist. But, since Brant isn't a huge Stevie fan, I also chose the 10th Doctor Who's Theme Song, which I think is a great song for the start of an action sequence. Or to get the blood pumping to your fingers.

Friday, November 26, 2010

NaNoWriMo Day Twenty Six

Brant and I had a productive evening last night. After watching fun stuff, I still managed to write over 1500 words and pul my characters forward out of the mire I had them stuck in. My hero made the next move in protecting his country and an unexpected ally came to the fore. Not bad for a short writing session. Hope I can keep up the pace of the story, it was starting to slow down.

Today's song is of a more serious bent than what I chose for inspiration yesterday. Lord knows why most of my favorite songs tend to be in a minor key, but that is beside the point. It is by a brilliant piano composer named Jennifer Thomas, called A Beautiful Storm. I know this is heavy, but it is perfect for what I am doing now on my story. My hero's country is overrun by enemies who are burning it to the ground, he has to sacrifice some of his own land for help, and he desperately wants to help the heroine out with her own loss. Dark works here. And I think this song pulls all that together nicely.

Keep your NaNoMoJo going, and write on!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

NaNoWriMo Day Twenty Five

Evening, readers. I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving. I know Brant and I did, we enjoyed familial conversation over a banquet of freshly made goodies. After we were full, watched WKRP's Thanksgiving special, and ate some more, we decided to get down to writing. I was well into my process before I remembered that I didn't share my motivational song of the day.

Today's song, in honor of Thanksgiving, is from an artist I recently fell in love with called Ludovico Einaudi. The song is a beautiful piano solo called Love is a Mystery. A fairly simple piece, which paints a picture in my head of someone running after a lost love. It has changed each time whether the love was caught or not. But I feel desperation in this song, and that makes this a very useful piece indeed.

Keep your NaNoMoJo going, gobble gobble, and write on!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

NaNoWriMo Day Twenty Four

Whew! I wrote about three thousand words yesterday, squeezed in a little here and a little there. I also made a cheesecake, two pumpkin pies and three pumpkin breads last night in preparation for Thanksgiving. So now I am almost at the 30,000 word mark and I have plenty of sweet things for the holiday. I think I did well, if I do say so myself. So, I am in for a treat...

The song for today is an instrumental version of one of my favorite love songs, originally by Daniel Bedingfield. It is titled If You're Not the One, and this piano version is done by Myleene Klass. It is breathtaking, and I think I will use it on a soon-to-arrive unrequited love scene in my story. I have already set it in my writing motivation play list on YouTube. The use of playlists on YouTube is awesome to me. No matter where I am when I am able to write, I just pull out YouTube and I have my music right there. I am hoping to pass that 30,000 mark today, so wish me luck. Good luck to you too. And Happy Thanksgiving.

Keep your NaNoMoJo going, and write on!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NaNoWriMo Day Twenty Three

Boy, am I far behind on my writing. I am still sitting at arount 26,000 words, and the last few days have been enough trouble to keep me from writing. I really, really want to, but there are so many other things that need to be done this time of year that take precedence. Like excersizing a little more room into my tummy for the holidays.

Today's inspirational song is an old favorite of mine, beloved since grade school (I think I just dated myself). It is from the movie Labyrinth, and it is called As the World Falls Down. I love to just listen to this song, and its sadness. The words themselves are quite motivational to me too. Dripping with romance. Makes me think I should actually try writing a romance next time around...

Keep your NaNoWriMo going, and write on!

Monday, November 22, 2010

NaNoWriMo Days 20-22

First, a little shout out to Brant. He is just a few words away from the 50,000 month quota. Hooray for Brant!

Sorry about this weekend, it completely slipped away from me. I wrote very little, because of an injury, but don't worry. I feel better now. I did however work on my story. I dug around and learned a little strategy so the battle scenes will read a little more realistic. I just haven't written them in yet. So here are the weekend songs I had chosen and didn't release.

Day 20: One of my favorite movies that involves one of my hobbies is Gettysburg, a great movie about the Northern armies hard won victory that turned the tide of the Civil War. The military theme song therein is called Men of Honor. It is a great song when gearing up for a battle, even if it is a little slow.

Day 21: A nice, angst filled song today, which I found while perusing YouTube for Torchwood stuff. I think this song, titled He Lives in You, is a good song to put you in a somber mood. I have a death scene coming up again in my story, and I loved the feeling I got listening to this song. Probably not the right terms to use for a death scene, but it's true.

Day 22: Enough with the downers, I know. Today's song is in my terms, simply beautiful. It is called Vocalise, written by Rachmaninov and arranged by Karl Jenkins to be done by Adiemus. Whew, what a mouthful. This song adds color to what I am writing. When I need better descriptions, a bigger amount of detail, or just a sense of purpose in what I am writing, I go to this song.

Keep your NaNoMoJo going, and write on!

Friday, November 19, 2010

NaNoWriMo Day Nineteen

Yesterday I actually wrote over 5000 words. I know, I can't believe it either. I stopped up short when I wrote myself into another military strategy session. Why do I keep writing myself into things I don't know? Well, let's move on to something I know a little bit more about.

The song I chose for today is from the movie Braveheart, a great (if unrealistic) movie with an emotional soundtrack. Of course the song is For the Love of a Princess, the love theme of the movie. The vibrato flute and swelling of strings is perfect for many things. From an unrequited romance to a great loss, even lofty thinking. I am using it today for the latter. Anyway, if nothing else, just listen to the song and let your imagination take over.

Keep your NaNoMoJo going, and write on!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

NaNoWriMo Day Eighteen

Another day has dawned. I hope you are all still trying as hard as I am. I may not make my quota, in fact on most days I don't. But I am moving along on the story a heck of a lot faster than I usually do. Yesterday I left my heroine on the brink of a discovery about a frenemy nation that will either push her over the edge, or possibly go completely over her head. Also set up the possiblity for a turning point in the relationship between the hero and heroine. I haven't decided yet if their relationship is mutual admiration or something deeper. Honestly (and against my normal grain) I am leaning to mutual admiration.

Today's song choices are a new favorite and a rediscovered classic. First up is Stars by Helen Jane Long. She is an accomplished songwriter and pianist, and I love the lonliness I hear in this song. I think it is perfect for the heroine in my story, who is going through great loss and feels she is all alone.

The second song is a trio of the best songs from the movie Red Sonja compiled into one piece on YouTube. The songs are the Kalidor's Theme, Fighting the Soldiers, and the Love Theme. These are all written by a master in movie soundracks, Ennio Morricone. He also wrote the music for The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly trilogy, The Mission, and many others (as Brant and I discovered last night). My favorite out of this trilogy is the first song, Kalidor's Theme. It is simple, and yet stirs the blood. I have decided to use this song as the basis for the berserkers in my story. There are a lot of them, so they deserved their own motivational song.

Keep your NaNoMoJo going, and write on!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NaNoWriMo Day Seventeen

Yesterday I finally broke twenty thousand words on my story. Yey me! But today I am finding it a little more difficult to get anything done. So, why not go to my inspirational and motivational songs, you say. Well, all righty then.

Today's song (finally, a solo!) is called Suddenly Yours, and it is from a group called 2002. It is one of those rarer major key songs that get my creative juices going. I picture coming out of the darkness into the light on this one. The end of the journey, when the beleagured hero or heroine conquers the baddies and gets to go home to their families, hot meals, and warm beds. It is sedate, but it is so peaceful. And I just love the name.

Keep your NaNoMoJo going, and write on!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

NaNoWriMo Day Sixteen

A lot of drama in Brant and my lives yesterday. My old truck (which I named Dr. Pepper Truck, because of its color) needed a lot of work again, and we finally decided it wasn't worth it. So we spent most of our free time yesterday picking out a 'new' used car. In spite of all that, I still managed to write over 3k words yesterday! I am almost caught up to where I should be in my novel, according to the average set forth by Brant to reach the 50k words. I am around 18,600 words. I might not make 50k, but I will have a lot more invested in this novel than I thought I would.

Today's inspiration is a song I have loved since I learned it on the piano more than a decade ago. It is a piece of classical music with a dramatically sinister turn, called Danse Macabre. It is written by the gifted French composer Camille Saint-Saƫns, and I found a delightful vingnette of pictures made by someone on YouTube to watch as you listen the first time. I use this when I need to write with a little more frenetic energy. Sometimes what I write is 'evil,' (ie. the characters are in trouble), but more often or not I am just reminded to put a little more motion and vitality into my stuff. Otherwise, as I have told the group members several times, my characters pop into a void, speak their peace, and pop out again. This song helps me add color.

Keep your NaNoMoJo going, and write on!

Monday, November 15, 2010

NaNoWriMo Day Fourteen/Fifteen

Sorry I didn't post yesterday, but the day loosed from my grasp and ran down the street like a mad woman on a sugar high. So, today I will post my songs for both the fourteenth and fifteenth days.

Day fourteen was a song to get the blood pumping, and perhaps help out with a little righteous anger your characters might need to let go of. It is a piece of classical music most of us may have heard of called Ride of the Valkyries. I just love that this song is old enough for a lot of people to dismiss it, but great enough that it keeps getting used in new ways. I love this classic.

Day fifteen is from a newer classic, Jurassic Park, called Hatching Baby Raptor. Believe it or not, I used this song the first time (a while ago) when I needed to get into a proper frame of mind for a ghost story. The scene that this song basically wrote was when the ghost first 'opened her eyes,' after death. I love the haunting qualities of this song. If you have a little need of some spirits in your story, I suggest this one. By the way, it is also useful if you need a little painful introspection, because (at least for me) it puts me in a somber mood.

Keep your NaNoMoJo going, and write on!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

NaNoWriMo Day Thirteen

I managed to write just over 2000 words yesterday. I patted myself on the back for writing anything, and got to a place where the next surge willl give me lots of words. We here at the Magic City Writer's Group hope you are still keeping up with the novel writing. Or at least keeping up with this blog. That's a great start.

Today is another double header in inspirational songs for me. I know, I have more songs than I thought I did too. The first is from a great techno artist simply called BT. The song is called Dreaming, and it is one of those songs that just make me want to write. The beginning lines always do it for me: "No words, no talk. We'll go dreaming."

And the other song is from the great movie soundtrack archives. From Braveheart, we have The World of the Heart, a song that is so swept away with sad and beautiful emotion that I use it whenever I need to write about someone's heart breaking. In case you don't remember, this is a great movie about valor, betrayal and redemption. If that doesn't get you writing, well, then you don't write like me.

Keep your NaNoMoJo going, and write on!

Friday, November 12, 2010

NaNoWriMo Day Twelve

The month is almost half over, how are you doing? I am still many, many pages behind my quota. I don't feel like giving excuses, it is just the way it is. Well.

To combat the I-can't-do-it-itis, I have a brilliantly ethereal song to inspire you. It is from Evanescence, and Mozart. I found that lots of people have done this song, but right now it is my favorite. It is called Lacrymosa. I love this song, which just generally inspires me to do any writing. Well, after the song is done. The second time I listen to it my mojo gets going. Before that I am just swept away in the beauty of the music. I hope you feel it too.

Keep your NaNoMoJo going, and write on!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

NaNoWriMo Day Eleven

I managed to get in a quick 3000 words or so last night, just under the wire. I am still about 10 pages behind my quota, but I think that is impressive. I just put all my favorites on YouTube on play and went to town. When I have an idea and some inspiration, I can really write quickly. Not award winning - not on a first draft anyway - but I get it done. I will catch up, hopefully by the weekend if not today.

Another duo today. These songs represent interesting dichotomies. They are great songs from otherwise horrible movies. Anyone that know me knows that not only do I like science fiction, I adore super-cheezy science fiction as well. But I become a loyal follower of a great musician and his/her score. These are a couple of great examples. Even when they have a mound of cheese to write for, they create music that serves - at least for me - as great sources for inspiration.

The first is a gem called Conan the Destroyer, soundtrack written by Basil Poledouris. I love Conan the Barbarian, and the music was great there too. But the sequel was horrible. Its only saving grace was a soundtrack that swept you away in the appropriate emotion for the scene. So I use this music as a great source of inspiration for never giving up, and also for becoming the barbarian I know is somewhere inside of me. Here is the Main Title.

The second is from an unfortunate movie from actual history. Now the story of King Henry VIII is great in and of itself, loaded with greed, sex, and court intrigue. So it amazes me how the movie The Other Boleyn Girl could have been so bad, but it was. However, the music is beautiful. I listen to it and I am filled with a sense of longing, loss, and regret that the movie should have given me. The song I chose is The Execution, which I used when I wrote a scene a couple of days ago where one of the major heroes was killed. Very helpful.

Keep your NaNoMoJo going, and write on!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

NaNoWriMo Day Ten

I actually managed to get in a couple of pages yesterday! Yey me. I came in early to work to get a little pre-job writing done, so this blog will be brief. Today's picks (again with the two songs) are songs that I used last week to get me into 'battle mode.' My hero and heroine faced off for the first time with the big ugly - as I called it in my head - and managed to squeak out a win. Will they be able to get reinforcements before big ugly comes back? Duh duh duh.

Ahem. Sorry. The first song is from an interesting band that infuses heavy metal with classical music. I have to say, great idea. The band is called Apocolyptica, and the song I chose is Bittersweet. For the record, though, I haven't heard a song of theirs yet that doesn't inspire me to write a good fight or battle scene.

The second song is a little more classical. Or a lot more classical. It is Chopin. In a nod to my sister, she made me fall in love with this song a long time ago (when we first saw The Secret Garden). It is Nocturne for Piano in E minor, Opus 19. Beautiful, sad, but with a driving rhythm that makes this also a good one for battles, both internal and actual.

Keep your NaNoMoJo going, and write on!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

NaNoWriMo Day Nine

Okay, I admit it. I haven't written in a couple of days. I have had so much stuff on my plate that I have had almost constant brain-fry. And yesterday was our writer's group meeting, which - while fun - eats up the evening. But, I might be able to at least squeeze out a page or two today. In keeping with that, I have a couple of songs that strike mystical cords in my subconscience.

The first is a haunting melody called The Voice, which I have already used a couple of times when I need to write a dramatic scene using my heroine, who seems to be pushed in a particular direction by an unseen hand. She follows it - follows it blindly, if you ask the hero.

The second is one of my favorite songs ever, unfortunately written by a total pig. This arrangement was done by Mannheim Steamroller for their first Christmas album, but quickly made it into my normal rotation. Enjoy this version of Greensleeves.

Keep your NaNoMoJo going, and write on!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Brant on NaNoWriMo Day 8

Before I get into my post today, I want to give a shout out to Kathryn.  Most of the posts out of the this blog have come from her lately.   Kathryn’s informative posts about what music inspires her and where she has been focusing her writing on a day-to-day basis have provided me insights of my own, as well as links to some beautiful music.  Great work Kathryn.

My Current NaNoWriMo  Status

  • Suggested Daily Word Count: 1,667  (Works out to 50,000 words in 30 days.)
  • Words Written Today: 1,800
  • Suggested Cumulative Word Count by Day 8:  13,336
  • My Actual Cumulative Word Count: 17,807
  • Average Words per Day: 2,226
  • At This Rate I Will Finish On: Nov 23
  • Days Remaining in November: 22
  • Total Words Remaining for NaNoWriMo: 32,193
  • Words per Day to Finish on Time 1,464
  • Current Page Count of (Mostly) New Material: 64 

The short hand of these statistics is that I am well ahead of schedule.   I have a comfortable buffer that I can build on to make certain I actually do 50,000 words in 30 days.

A Song That Inspires Me

Song of the Seahorse by Miriam Stockley is a song which I listen to often.  Its sweeping melody and melancholy lyrics makes me think of many different things, but with regards to my story I feel it captures something essential about my character, Artemis Arrowsmith. 

Song of the Seahorse, by Miriam Stockley

The lyrics dwell on the death of a lover and the how the person feels because of their loss.   This is central to Artemis’ character and the subplots that revolve around her.    The music also captures a sense of beauty and even wonder, other elements central to her character.

A Lesson Learned From NaNoWriMo: JUST KEEP TYPING!

Seriously, don’t dwell on anything.  Just keep typing.

“What am I wanting to accomplish in this chapter/with this character?”  Don’t worry about it, just keep typing.

“Wait…isn’t this character supposed to be dead already?”  Don’t worry about it, just keep typing.

“What color did I say her eyes were a few pages back?”  Don’t worry about it, just keep typing.

“Wasn’t this character a different sex in and earlier chapter?”  Don’t worry about it, just keep typing.

The Result Is An Interesting Mishmash.

On scenes I have reasonably well mapped out in my mind, I blend descriptions and actions and dialogue together in reasonable proportions.   Not great, but workable text.

Then there are areas where I know I want or need a conversation on a subject, but I don’t have the details well thought out. 

This writing tends to be various people talking in an undefined area with characters appearing out of nowhere.  Where are they? Who knows?  What led up to the scenes?  Who knows?  All I know for certain is that there are elements in those scenes that I definitely want to keep somewhere in the overall story.

A Funny Thing Happened While Trying to Write A Story

Along the way, I was forced to deal with the motivations for the character of Demiurge in a more concrete way.  Given that the title of the second book is …Demiurge, Unbound,…, this was unavoidable.

But his origins are located behind a shroud of the distant past, which meant I needed to think about that past in the way he would.  I.e. Discovering the voice of Demiurge required thinking about my story’s mythology as he remembered it.

This led to a multipage “tell” that turned into a surprisingly clean summary of events explaining how the world ended up in its present state.  

Details became clear to me that I had glossed over in my mind, and with those details I realized I needed additional information about the world’s geography that I had never considered before.

The downside:  The new geographic details affect what I have already written in the first book.  On the bright side, what I need to add, while major, can be done by placing a few key sentences in a handful of  areas.  One particularly vivid description in chapter seven in the first book could be the foundation for significant reveals in the second book.

Rather than add those elements to the first book, I noted what I needed as part of my NaNoWriMo efforts.  i.e. I just wrote it in a a major, ugly, info dump.

And while I was doing that, I had a second major insight to the working of my world. 

How magic works and what its limitations are is a subject I have wrestled with often.  Now many of those details are clear to me, and I see how it has affected the path of Artemis and Damon both. 

These insights led me to know how the second book will end, and what scenes will comprise much of the third book of the series, …And Damon Roth,…

In particular, I now know why Damon first became interested in Artemis, and what he had to go through to find her.  Once again, I decided to jot down these thoughts as part of my NaNoWriMo efforts.

After these insights, I was able to return to a more linear narrative focused on scenes I had long thought of but had written little about.  Once again, I am writing less mythology and info dumps and more of a blend descriptions and actions and dialogue together in reasonable proportions

Insights Learned During NaNoWriMo.

The pace of writing has forced me to abandon quality for quantity.  To pour words onto the page as fast as they appear in my head.  Misspellings abound.  I use the same word in sentence after sentence, creating a repetitive feel that is, frankly, boring to read.  Grammar, the bane of my existence, is sacrificed for rambling sentences that often make little sense even to me.

Fast and furious writing forces you to make decisions that ripple through your overall work.  Earlier text that you think has settled and needs nothing more must be modified.  Plot strands for the future become clearer and more defined.  

Good ideas also end up on the page as details I hadn’t considered until now become facts of the world.  The story evolves and becomes substantially better.

I must admit to a temptation that this style of writing has inspired in me.  Namely to write my whole seven volume story in one gigantic effort as fast as possible. 

Yes, the final product would be craptacular, but it would also be a complete first draft.  After that I could focus on the long slow editing process where turgid text is replace by compelling prose. 

I’m not certain this would be a better approach that my normal style of write-edit-edit-edit-edit-edit-edit-edit-edit-write some more.  But my experiments with NaNoWriMo makes me wonder if writing the whole story at once wouldn’t yield rewards I can’t fathom at this time.

NaNoWriMo Day Eight

I wanted to use this ethereal song I heard about a month ago on my Pandora radio, but I can't find a good link with the song on it. it is called Autumn by Ryan Stewart, and it is a beautiful melancholy of a song played on piano with instrumental background. The best I could find was on YouTube, but the background noise is a little bit too much for me.

So, the better - or official, if you will - song I chose to inspire me today is again two-fold. I have an awful lot of writing to do in territory I know almost nothing about. I know, I shouldn't write about things I don't know, but my stories always lead me down those paths. Maybe I should just get out and do more so this doesn't happen as often. Now in my story, the hero and heroine are racing to the southern borders to try and recruit an ally who is a little scary. There is horseback riding, camping, driving oneself to exhaustion... I know nothing about those. There is also grief and possibly a budding romance.

Those I know a little something about. For the former, I chose a song I just really love, the original Superstitious by Stevie Wonder. Such a heart pumping song for me. For the latter, I chose Phillippe Describes Isabeau from the immortal romantic movie Ladyhawke. This one feels like grief and romance for me, and if you know the movie, you would know why. I hope you enjoy these, and get to writing once again.

Keep your NaNoMoJo going, and write on!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

NaNoWriMo Day Seven

Sorry about posting this late, but it has been a lazy day, and I have been busy. Getting Christmas and Thanksgiving shoved into my head at the same time, taking stock of what needs to be done, making a beef stew... the day gets away from me. But I didn't forget to post the inspirational song for the day.

For those of you that know me, you know that I am very proud to be a Texan, transplanted to Alabama. No shock... most Texans I know are proud, but I have a lot of deep roots, and one of those spreads to the Alamo. My favorite song from the 2004 The Alamo is The Death of Crockett, but I couldn't find it on YouTube to send out to you guys. But, I did find a great second, and I hope you will enjoy it.

There is nothing better than great peril to make a hero shine. This whole soundtrack, written by Carter Burwell (of Braveheart fame) is the rhythmic personification of heroism and martyrdom in my opinion. Some wonderful person on YouTube created a medley of the music combined with still footage from the movie, and it is a nice long one to write to. I am listening to it now and it is filling me up with righteous courage (which is what my hero and heroine desperately need right now. So enjoy this Alamo Suite.

Keep your NaNoMoJo going... and write on!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

NaNoWriMo Day Six

Today is a chilly day here in Alabama. I don't know what the weather is like where you are, but I find it hard to even get out of bed today, since I don't have to go to work on Saturdays. To help combat this, I once again have chosen two songs: one to get the fires burning, and another to inspire a certain part of (my) creativity.

The first song is one I stumbled on accidentally. I love the British series Torchwood and found a video montage of it. Attached was the song It's All About Us by TaTu and fell in love with it too. It is very strong and makes me think of unrequited love, which for some reason stirs up creativity in me too. It is a dual action song!

My formal song entry for the day is, strangely enough, from the movie Casper. The movie was fun but goofy, but there were parts of the music that accompanied it that were absolutely beautiful. My favorite of those is Casper's Lullaby, a haunting piece that is my go to when I write of anything ethereal; ghosts, lost love, or even a fallen hero. I hope it gives those of use still writing every day a go-to for a sad, sad moment in the story. I know I have a couple.

Keep your NaNoMoJo going!

Friday, November 5, 2010

NaNoWriMo Day Five

Welcome to Friday, and day five of writing that novel you have clunking around in your head. You haven't started yet? No worries. NaNoWriMo is pretty forgiving, and you can start anytime. I have a great hero song for you today, and creating a hero is an important step to writing a novel (at least in my world). Today's song is an Irish didy, an ode to the fallen soldier. It is hard to pronounce in Irish (aren't they usually?), and is called Seainneam Cliu Nam Fear Ur. In English, that is We Sing a Song of the Brave Lads, and it is sung by Capercaillie. I love the haunting qualities of the song, and the sad images it often brings up in my head. Enjoy, and keep your NaNoMoJo going.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

NaNoWriMo Day Four

All right novel writers... I know how you feel. Day four, and you really really want to do this, but whatever it is has slogged you down. For me it is a bunch of new changes at work, and I ahaben't got the timing down. I am a little behind on my writing, but nothing I can't catch up on with one good night and some inspiration. So, today I have two - count 'em - two songs to inspire us!

The first is one that builds up energy for me. It is a song by the pop group Jamiroquai (gotta love that name) and it is called Canned Heat. For the longest time I thought the lyrics said "I've got candy in my heels tonight," but apparently it is "I've got canned heat in my heels tonight." Anyway, enjoy it, and I hope it helps you keep your mojo going.

The second song is another soundtrack song, that I think is perfect to play as I think how my hero should be. It is regal, robust, and energetic. It is from The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and it is appropriately titled Return of the Lion.

Keep your fingers agile and your NaNoMoJo alive... Go Writers!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Brant’s NaNoWriMo Musical Inspiration

One of my favorite pieces of music to write by is actually a trailer produced one year for the British science fiction series, Dr. Who.  The song is called All The Strange Strange Creatures

A montage of Dr Who scenes played against All The Strange Strange Creatures

It starts off  with a slow creepy buildup before exploding into a sweeping melody that combines both action and a sense of wonder.   Every time I listen to it I see in my mind a montage of scenes from my story.  Iconic moments that I either have written or intend to write.  This music helps me see the epic arc of the main story I am trying to tell.

Day Three of NaNoWriMo

The goal of 50,000 words in 30 days is quite challenging.  This works out to be about 6 pages of new material I need to write per day. 

I decided to use NaNoWriMo to work on my second book, …Demiurge, Unbound,…  Over the years I have tossed various notes and snippets of scenes into the book in preparation for one day turning the confused jumble into an actual novel. 

The end result is that I start off with a slight advantage, about twenty pages of material that I can use with little correction or editing.  i.e. I started NaNoWriMo with about three days of leeway. 

On day 1 I wrote 6 pages of new material, interwoven with the existing text.  Day 2 I managed about 4 pages.  Right now on Day 3 I have already managed about 5 pages (I woke up early and dove into writing first thing.) Right now I already have over 7300 of new (or mostly new) words on paper.  Not a bad start.

In a later post I will talk about how the need to write fast and loose affects my style and is shaping my story.

NaNoWriMo Day Three

Day three. Day two was a crappy day for me at work, and I didn't write as much as I wanted to. Fortunately day one was good enough to cover it. Back to the grind though. This song I put up on my Facebook page last month when I discovered it, and it still is giving me fun ideas to write. It is by Hayley Westenra, who has a beautiful and haunting voice. It is called Dark Waltz, and I especially get inspiration for my werewolf story, Moonlit. Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

NaNoWriMo Time

Welcome to the second day of National Novel Writers Month, affectionately known as NaNoWriMo. Many in our group wanted to try our hand at the NaNoWriMo challenge of writing a novel in a month, which Brant (using his mathematical skills) said equalled writing about 6 pages a day. To which I exhaled deeply and Lindy sighed. Then Lindy suggested we try motivating each other by sending songs through the email that motivate us.

I jumped on this idea, because I adore using music to create a mood. So, in the span of about 2 days, came up with thirty songs that inspire me in some way. Yesterday I sent the first one out to our entire group, whether they were doing NaNoWriMo or not. It is a song that really gets my mojo going: County Galway, written by John Williams and performed in conjunction with the Chieftains for the movie Far and Away. Brant suggested I post my songs on the blog so everyone that reads us can enjoy the music too.

Now for the second day. I have chosen a goodie. It is another long one that I have been enamored with since I got to play it in my first All-State band. It is the first movement of a symphony written around 1988 for a classic sci-fi trilogy, Lord of the Rings. The movement is simply titled Gandalf. Everytime I hear this I get swept away, especially at the part where Gandalf is riding breakneck speed on Shadowfax. Trust me, you will know when he is riding. It gets my creative energies galloping too.

So, for those of us who have successfully made it to the second day, way to go! Now on to day two...