writing music

Like most writers, I enjoy listening to music while I write.  But you gotta have music that fits your writing mood!  I often also prefer music without lyrics – pop music makes me want to sing and dance so it really doesn’t help me when I write.  This Nanowrimo I already have a few go-to artists and albums.

  • Ludovico Einaudi – I heard one of his songs on an 8tracks playlist, and became an instant fan.  (The song was “Primavera” and it’s on my Scavengers playlist).  I’ve downloaded his albums Elements and Divenire and they are both lovely.  I’ve used them for my teen yoga classes as well.
  • Nox Arcana – Great music if you write horror or otherwise “dark” fiction.  They have a ton of albums, all with different themes.  Need a soundtrack for writing a haunted house story?  Try Darklore Manor or House of Nightmares.  How about a historical vampire tale? Try Winter’s Knight or Transylvania.  Creepy circus story?  The Theatre of Illusion or Carnival of Souls.  This does sound like soundtrack music and there are occasional (distracting) vocals, but definitely good mood music.
  • Zoe Keating – At one point I downloaded all the music from Maggie Steifvater’s writing playlists, and this cello artist was one of my favorites from all that music (there was a lot).  It’s all instrumental and because the cello is a low instrument, it isn’t distracting.

I have a few of my writing soundtracks posted over on 8tracks for your listening pleasure!  Hopefully I’ll put up my “Misty Mix” before month’s end.

What music do you like to listen to when you write?

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a week of writing and revising

As April winds to an end, I find myself in the midst of two things: finishing up my story for Camp Nanowrimo, and preparing Scavengers for release later this week!

Currently I’m at around 18,500 words in “The Madman,” which will be a second Wolf Point prequel novella.  I only need to write about 500 words a day to get to my goal of 20K by the April 30th deadline.  Along the way some interesting things have happened.  I had planned for this installment to be all about Fallon Loupe going mad.  I wasn’t sure what part Geo would have in it… and it’s been a much bigger part than I expected!

I took this week off so I can edit and prepare Scavengers.  After finishing the first draft last month I needed to take some time away from it before really editing.  Now I have the whole week… here we go!

writing weather?

You’d think, after having four giant snowstorms in as many weeks and getting a number of days off from work for that very reason, with nothing to do other than sit in my apartment alone, that I would have done MUCH more writing than I have.

Nope.

Yesterday cabin fever set in and I had to get out.  My couch has become synonymous with marathoning TV shows and watching movies, and not writing.  I had some luck after taking advice from another blogger about changing location to break out of writer’s block – took my laptop into the kitchen to sit at the table and write and actually got quite a bit done.

Today I’m with Janina at Barnes & Noble writing.  I updated my word count over on the Scavengers page so you can see that I really am trying!  It seems like everyone else in the world also has cabin fever and is out today…

Scavengers cover reveal!

Scavengers finally has a cover!

scavengers ebook cover 6 copy

This took me a long time… mostly due to issues getting permission to use images.  For both Hitchhikers and Dreamwalkers, I was able to find images over at sxc.hu and Flickr, and the photographers got back to me fairly quickly.  Both of the images I used for this cover were from Morguefile, which is a great site to find images because the site encourages people to “remix” the original photographs.  Still, because this is a commercial project, I needed to get permission to use them, and I was thrilled when the photographers responded right away.  You can find out a little more about the original images with links on the Scavengers page.

Of course, Scavengers still is not completely written… I’ve pushed back the pub date twice and I’m still writing… so the current pub date of January 31st is probably not going to happen, even though I’ve been working on it a lot this week.

Part of the issue in writing this third book is that I now have to coordinate timelines with two other books, and start planning for more books in the series.  Zeke’s story will not be the last Wolf Point novel.  I’d like to have a book featuring Remy’s point of view, and Misty’s.  There are also the prequels I want to write, following up to The Beast.  If I can ever finish Scavengers I think I’ll do the Camp Nanowrimo for the two novellas I am planning in that prequel trilogy.

But Scavengers has a cover!

I am not very nice to my characters

I’m nearing the end of Camp Nanowrimo and last night I ended up writing the most in one day that I have all month (a whopping 1,300 words), and once again my main character ended up giving himself stitches (this also happens in Hitchhikers).  For some reason I feel the need to break my characters down to their absolute lowest point both mentally and physically before I can know what they’re capable of.  I definitely felt like I had to break Kayla down in Dreamwalkers, I had to see what happened to her confidence level.  In The Beast of Gevaudan, Georges also needed some breaking down, but really that’s just brought out his inner psychopath.  Or outer psychopath… he never really hid it, but this made it worse.

In Hitchhikers, Daniel is starved, attempts suicide, gets his leg caught in a bear trap, gets shot, and falls on an axe, in addition to giving himself stitches.  Somehow in The Beast of Gevaudan I’ve also had Georges end up giving himself stitches, which I’m not sure I’ll keep in there… although I do like the similarities between Georges and Daniel, because it illustrates how different they are at the core while dealing with similar circumstances.

I guess I’m lucky all my characters have a lot of fight in them.

the mid-point reversal

As I was working on Dreamwalkers Friday night, I realized that I am nearly at the point of the mid-point reversal.

I didn’t know what a mid-point reversal was until I read Story Engineering by Larry Brooks.  At that point I looked at Hitchhikers and was pleased to find that I had instinctively included this basic story building block in my plot.  If you don’t know what a mid-point reversal is: Your character has a goal.  They move steadily toward this goal.  Then something happens that completely alters their course.  In Hitchhikers, my main character, Daniel, is being pushed towards returning home.  He’s finally on his way home when he loses all faith in himself and runs away (again).

Since Hitchhikers is roughly 60,000 words long, and I’d like for Dreamwalkers to be approximately the same length, the mid-point reversal should take place around the 30,000 word mark.  In Dreamwalkers, Kayla returns home without Daniel, begins to have feelings for Remy, and they are moving towards making some kind of strike against an enemy wolf back.  It is becoming clear to me that the mid-point reversal will be the return of Daniel, and Kayla now having to face her feelings for both Daniel and Remy.

And yet, I kind of wanted Kayla to be kidnapped by the enemy pack and have to be tested via some kind of cage-fighting thing… This might take some extreme editing.

the countdown begins

So I’m already thinking about November and Nanowrimo… already stressing about when I’ll have enough time to write!  My first week in November is pretty much booked up and that makes me nervous because it’s usually in the first week that I get the momentum to carry me through the rest of the month.  I also have my complete failure at Camp Nanowrimo lurking on my shoulder.

Of course, I have already created a cover:

I have a vague idea of the story I want to write.  I usually find that I start a totally different story on November 1st.  This story is the second idea I’ve had for Nanowrimo.  The first was going to be an exorcism/possession horror story.  Maybe someday I’ll still write that…  I find that if I overly outline or plan a story I can’t actually sit down and write it.  I just need to have a vague sense of what I want the ending to be and then sit down and figure out how to get there as I write.

Luckily, most of the things that will be taking up valuable writing time early on in November are circus-related… I’m going to see Cirque du Soleil’s Saltimbanco, and then I have my own trapeze show (in which I’ll be dressed as a flying turkey) to worry about.  I can only hope that Black Friday will be a day I can catch up with my word count…

In other news, I got an account on Figment.com, so if you want to start reading some of my awesomely bad Mistaken Identity series that I wrote in high school, here’s the link!