Filtering by Tag: inspiration

Monday Mixtape: Novelin' Music


Music is an integral part of my writing process. For me, it's very much the first stages of character development. I'll hear a song and go, "Oh, this song is totally so-and-so," or "That song is perfect for the scene where this thing happens." I'm even known to do this for my writing lobster's novels.

While plotting, I always compile a playlist of songs that strike something in me about the story. Usually, the playlist gets absurdly long--we're talking 75-100 songs sometimes.

As the story comes more into focus, as I get to know the characters better, the playlist shrinks. I listen to these playlists on loop while I write, and for months and months after I finish a draft, every time I hear a song that had been on a playlist, I go right back to that story.

I'm currently almost done with the third book in my first series, and its playlist sits at about twenty songs. Each one represents something about the story, or a piece of a character, and they immediately put me into the story.

I decided to share a few of these songs with you guys today.

First up, "Till the Casket Drops" by ZZ Ward:


"Show Me Your Fangs" by Matt Nathanson:


"I Really Like You" by Carly Rae Jepsen:


So, there ya have it. The soundtrack of random that is on repeat in my head right now!

What about ya'll? Do you use music playlists as you write? What kind of music do you listen to? Any recommendations? I'm always on the lookout for new music!

Words to Live By

I adore Kristan Higgins. Her novels are funny, quirky, sweet and heartwarming. Her interactions with her readers on Facebook and Twitter are genuine and amusing. She's just all around spectacular.

Well, today, someone on Twitter shared a Youtube video of Kristan's Luncheon Presentation at the Romance Writers of America conference. Once I finished watching it...well, I just loved Kristan even more.

This is a must-watch for all romance authors. Make that all WRITERS. Kristan's got some great things to say about persevering and rejection and what our books mean to the world. This speech is inspiring beyond words.

Just...watch it. And, you're welcome.




Part of the Process

A few days ago, I sat down at my desk determined to write. Get that damn Chapter Four revised once and for all. Write an all new Chapter Five. Get Words Down.

What I did instead could easily be called procrastination by some. I prefer to call it Part of the Process.

I spent the next forty-five minutes Googling pictures of my characters and various elements of the story. Then, I downloaded a simple collage program and proceeded to mesh all these pictures together in pictorial representations of my story.

Here are the results:


If you're curious about the cast, they are:
Katharine McPhee as Tierney
Ian Somerhalder as Jack
Paul Walker as Wes
Julianne Hough as Sam
Isla Fisher as Macy

Though I didn't get any words written that day, I did end up with a clearer view of the story I've been trying to tell and its characters.

So, tell me: what's YOUR process? Have you tried collage before? Was this pure procrastination? Isn't Ian Somerhalder dreamy?

Muse Food

I've been making steady progress on the revisions for my Work-in-Progress, and I'm excited. I feel like the new Chapter 1 is the strongest version yet and that I'm definitely getting somewhere.

My muse has been fueled by a playlist of songs I compiled that remind me of my characters and the story they're telling. Here are a couple of the juiciest cuts that get me inspired:

Gavin DeGraw - Run Every Time

I love the overall feeling of this song. Of having something great right in front of you, but being too afraid to grab it with both hands. It captures my main character's inner conflict perfectly.

LeAnn Rimes - What Have I Done

This song is soaked in regret and heartbreak and it just gets to me. I love the line, "Gonna smash every mirror in this empty house, because like you I don't want to see myself." Gah!

Jessica Harp - Over Me

My favorite lines: "She's your growing up, I'm your staying young" While some of these lyrics could be considered wishful thinking on the part of my main character, those two lines describe what's going on so simply: her ex is growing up, moving on. And it hurts.

Matt Nathanson - Kept

I hear this song at the point in my story when my main character does something she shouldn't have done. I love the line "The morning came and it felt like truth."

The last one I'm gonna share with you hit me like a brick the first time I heard it. I love Michelle Branch and I wish we heard more from her. Her new music is fantastic, and this song has inspired many hours of furious typing away on my laptop.

Michelle Branch - Summertime

I love the nostalgic feeling of this. The bittersweet taste of looking back and remembering someone. The parts that spoke to me the most were, "I heard she's wearing a shiny diamond ring, I guess you're finally moving on," and "Kissing underneath the moonlight, discovering things we never thought we'd find." This song is so, so good!

So there you have it. A peek at the playlist revolving inside my head. There are dozens more songs. Maybe I'll share more with you later! Now, back to work!

Do you make playlists for your Works-in-Progress? Or do you write in silence? Maybe instrumental instead of songs with lyrics? What feeds YOUR Muse?



The Spark Blogfest



I've seen a lot of entries for this blogfest floating around, so I decided to throw mine into the mix. Christine Tyler over at The Writer Coaster is hosting the Spark Blogfest. In a nutshell, participants share what books made us realize we were "doomed" to be a writer, what author inspired our current WiP or what book or author changed our world view.

I'm going to share a book and an author.

The first book that made me itch to write was Little Women. I felt a real connection to Jo and her passion for words and I was sort of envious of that passion. I wanted something to feel that strongly for, too!


"I want to do something splendid before I go into my castle, something heroic or wonderful that won't be forgotten after I'm dead. I don't know what, but I'm on the watch for it, and mean to astonish you all some day. I think I shall write books, and get rich and famous, that would suit me, so that is my favorite dream."

The author that inspired me to write came a few years after I read Little Women...



Anne Frank. I read her diary so many times, for years, and always finished feeling so inspired and awestruck. That she was able to remain so positive while going through so much...it's incredible. Whenever I read this line, I'm immediately amazed by this young girl's spirit:

"It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart."

How about you? What books inspired you? Authors? Have you read these books?