Music while writing

I don’t know about other writers, but for me when I’m writing music is important.

When I’m not writing, I listen to a much different selection than I do when I am writing. I am very musically diverse though. I often listen to industrial as my music of choice, as well as a few heavy metal bands.

Examples include, but are not limited to: Skinny Puppy, Angelspit, CombiChrist, MSI, Ministry, NIN, Otep, Godsmack and Gwar.

When I am writing though, my choice of music either reflects my mood, or attempts to enhance what I am feeling while I am writing.

This story has been pretty emotional and very heavy in spots. The music I have listened to nearly the entire time has reflected that completely. I have listened to four artists nearly the whole time.

Florence and the Machine. She put it well when Florence Welch said: “Sex, violence, love, death, are the topics that I’m constantly wrestling with, it’s all connected back to religion.” A lot of people don’t recognize that these topics are often the subject of their music. It fits very well with my story.

Lana Del Ray. Her stuff is DARK. Very fitting. Not sure what more to say about that, lol.

Yuki Kajiura. Specifically I’ve been listening to the Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika soundtracks from the TV series and the newest movie: the Rebellion story. The music is really well done, and has a good mix of light and dark moods.

I’ve put the three mentioned above in a playlist and listen to it often while writing my story.

One more worth mentioning though is Audiomachine. I play them when I’m doing battle scenes. Their stuff is hard driven and intense. It is really easy to envision a mass battle occurring while I listen to them.

To me, the right music for what I am writing is very important. It helps me set my mood, and enhances my visual imagination of what is occurring.

How important is the right music to you when you are writing?


Things my favorite authors do that drive me nuts

I am about to commit multiple counts of blasphemy, please forgive me if I happen to list your favorite author. But remember, I did say favorite authors. I love their work even if there are a few things they do that really irritate me. Several of these things relate specifically to a certain series; there are very few authors that I have read their entire body of work.

Most of these are things that have shaped my own writing style: I say to myself, “Don’t do that! It drives me nuts!”

Michael Moorcock

I loved the Elric of Melnibone series, the action sequences were fast, and visceral. Yet there were a couple of glaring things that bothered me even when I was a young man.

First; the lack of detail. I can’t tell you how many times I would have to re-read something 3-4 times just to figure out what the author was trying to tell me. He wasn’t clear many times, and other times would simply make an assumption that wasn’t detailed in the story and run with it.

Second; was the lack of societal development for the Melnibonian people, and the development of his main character, Elric. When Elric would do something completely alien to human sensibilities he would write something like “Melnibonians were not human, and did not have their sensibilities.” He would use that and similar phrasing to bypass that lack of development when what his character did made absolutely no sense whatsoever. I’ve read the series 3-4 times now, and still can’t tell you why the heck he ended up leading the pirates to the city to burn it. It would have been nice to have some development so I could have SOME idea of why.

Terry Goodkind

I loved the Sword of Truth series, and I would recommend it to anyone. Fantastic stuff, and it had one of the best bad guys ever written; Darken Rahl. He would use Darth Vader like a cheap blow-up girlfriend.

But… the monologues. Oh my goodness, the further you go into the series (after book six it becomes really noticeable) Richard will jump up on his soapbox and preach it. Which is cool… to a point. In the eighth book in particular you have to go through several multiple page monologues that pretty much say the exact same thing that he has been saying all along.

Thanks man… I got it the first time.

Robert Jordan (I’m about to get my first hate letter!!!! Yay!)

The Wheel of time is great. The one thing I admire about Robert Jordan is his ability to write complex, convincing female characters. I have never read another male author that could do it as well as he can.

But.. he is the absolute opposite end of the spectrum from Michael Moorcock. He goes into so much detail, he will literally write an entire paragraph (I’m not joking!) about the fly that just landed on his character. And then, when it comes to an action scene (where the detail really matters) none of that care is to be found. Instead of telling you how a person moved and skewered their opponent, he will use a pretty metaphor: “He quickly dropped into the thrashing walrus form and readied for his attack.”


And finally, let’s see how much hate I can generate.

George R.R. Martin (I’ll get a death threat for this one…)

The Chronicles of Fire and Ice are very well known now, at least they are when you simply say: “Game of Thrones”.

I loved George’s “let’s do what nobody expects” attitude. “I’ll kill off a main character!”, Ok. Ned Stark’s death was great, it was awesome, it moved the story and the remaining characters forward. And it was unexpected.

Then… he just keeps doing it. The shock value was pretty well lost after Rob Stark’s death. I don’t mind killing characters really, but it doesn’t mean anything anymore. It isn’t moving the story, and it’s no longer shocking. It has gotten to the point where after the fifth book here, if the people that looked like they were dead are dead… I don’t care enough about any of the characters that are left to bother buying the book. I’ll read it second hand, thank you.

The other complaint about the series is that there seems to be very little actually occurring in regards to the unifying plot: which is the Chronicles of Fire and Ice. The conflict between the White Walkers and the fire Priests of ror-ror or whatever his name is. The amount of story that has been devoted to that plot isn’t even half the size of the first book if you remove everything else. He knows this, and has padded the entire thing with several unrelated subplots; some of which are great reads. The others you find yourself plodding through just so you can get back to the characters that matter to you. (Since he has had to toss in a bunch of new characters you don’t give a damn about in order to repopulate.)

But for me, I have to care about a character to continue to read a book. And like I said, he’s managed to pretty much kill them all off now.

These things that have bugged the heck out of me have made me specifically make my “Don’t do that!” list.
Does anyone have an author they have read that has made them put something or their “Don’t do” list? I’d like to hear it!

Chapter 19 is done!

Wow, this has been an adventure. but I’ve finally gotten through chapter 19 of Spirit of Magik.

This chapter was tough for several reasons.

1. I rebuilt my computer. Due to the complete suckiness of Windows 8, I was forced to reinstall my OS’s twice.

2. I was distracted by gaming.

3. I have been looking for work.

4. It sounds cheesy, I know, but I was suffering a writers blockage. I gave it a video-game enema, and now my thoughts are far more regular. ^_^

Truthfully, I was having difficulty with a very simple set-up part. I just couldn’t decide how to start the damned scene, lol. Everything I was considering sounded wrong in some way, until I got away from it for a little while.

I am nearing the end of the initial draft. I still have more work to do, but getting it into a fully readable form is my first goal.

It is 350 pages, 158105 words now.