Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Mood music (a shout-out to the song writers).

When writing fiction, people find their "muse" in many different places. For me, some days, it's all about the music.

Songs in every musical style touch the hearts of people. We remember the song we called "our song" when we first fell in love; the songs we danced to with our friends; the songs that tell the stories that make us laugh and make us cry. As writers, I think we should send kudo's to the song-writers. While we novellers toil away writing lengthy stories about people in 60,000 words or more, the songwriters bring us to tears with just a few sentences and make us want to dance with a few beats of the drum. Whether they tell us about "the day the music died," about two bored kids named "Jack and Diane," or about a generation of youth who are "waiting for the world to change," songs transport us from one place (usually our cars) into a different emotional zone.

And songs can be a great help in novel-writing. For my current novel I've made a soundtrack -- 15 songs that pull me into the mood of my main character, and the emotional pull of the plot. So whether I'm trying to write about the heartbreak of a lost love or the excitement of partying way-too- late on a Summer Friday night, the feelings I need to write about are all alive on the CD full of songs from my own teenage years. So, when I'm heading home from my "day job," all I have to do is pop that little CD into the slot and let the music move me back to my story. Then when I get out of the car I'm already right there -- at the school dance, or the graveyard, or whatever emotional place my main character needs to be. So join me, music lovers. Make a soundtrack for your novel. Have some fun with you muse!

Click here to hear 2 of the songs on the "soundtrack" for my current novel. Granted - both of these songs may predate my teen years, but the lyrics are perfect for the mood of my story.
Dust in the Wind (I prefer the version by Kansas)
Invincible (by Pat Benatar - please disregard the anime cartoon which has nothing to do with my novel LOL.)

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

A book toast to Ian and Karen

Big Congratulations to my crit-friends Ian Sands and Karen Lee for their recent successful book signings in the Raleigh area! (I'm so thrilled to know you both!) Additional congrats go to Karen on her recently published new book ABC Safari - It's not her first book, and I'm sure it won't be her last.
Check out their great websites:
Karen Lee: www.leeillo.com