It’s hard to get your muse in gear and actually get your work done by and by. Whether that work is writing or anything else in life that requires even a modicum of attention and energy, there are times when procrastination is key and my best friend and keeper. I know that I sometimes procrastinate without reason, even if the only one I’m disappointing is myself and a perhaps overly large pile of laundry that I’ve meant to fold and/or hang up for like, three days now.
During my writing, editing, or basically anytime I’m in front of the computer, you can guarantee one of two things. One, I will have a word document open in the potential that I will get writing done, and two, that I will have music playing. Doesn’t matter what music, unless I’m in a routine obsession with a particular song—you know, the ones that you play over and over until you’re sick of them?
They literally almost couldn’t fit all of the 80s in there into this picture.
Pandora will be coasting through everything from classical music to dubstep like my own personal tunage fairy that constantly batters me with ads. (PAY for music? Please, Internet. I grew up in the Napster and Limewire era, friend.)
While I absolutely love listening to music as I work, I know that the wrong music can be utterly devastating to writing. For instance, sometimes it’s impossible to be able to write while a song with lyrics that you know plays. I have occasionally found myself typing the words to the songs, completely oblivious that I’m doing so until it’s too late and I’ve lost my original train of thought.
I once attended a school for graphic design before switching my degree to creative writing, and I had a lovely Russian art teacher for a semester whose job it was to teach some kids who had no formal training how to draw still-lifes and use shadowing and that weird thumb-and-pencil thing to measure objects that I never quite got around to perfecting. (Or using… ever.) To this day, whenever I pick up the pencil to sketch anything, I still hear her voice in my head telling me to “Drah sroo za shape.” She was very keen on using music to stimulate creativity while drawing, and was a fan of techno beats and discotheque European music. Occasionally, we heard a cool song or two, but what I remember her for most was when she’d forget to change a library from repeating one song to repeating them all, and so we’d hear that self-same wub-wub house music song for about two hours of our four hour long class before she’d realize it was repeating and change it. By the end of two hours of Eastern European techno, you’re about ready to shoot yourself in the head to make it stop. Needless to say, some days were more productive than others.
It’s kind of a given that things that are catchy and upbeat have a tendency to capture the attention, and I definitely can’t write a sad scene to happy music, or vice versa. I find my own moods often mirror my character’s scenario as I think, and there’s no way that I can write a sad scene listening to a tune that makes me smile.
Ever try to kill someone to pop music? Can’t be done.
There are of course, always exceptions.
If only that grimace was early-onset cardiac arrest.
Music is a strange creation in that it has the ability to regulate our moods and flood our brains as we speak or try to communicate. It’s pretty unique in that it can be both inspiring and ungodly awful with only the difference of maybe a few notes between your favorites and least favorites. Used properly, it does in fact stimulate the brain to work more creatively, or throw you into mind-numbing bouts of self-depression… (Especially if that music is country).
Look, she didn’t get rich on a long lasting, healthy and fulfilling relationship, is all I’m saying, okay?
Awesome advice about creating a fantasy map!
An ongoing trend for fiction and fantasy novels is having a map for the reader to follow along with, just after the title page in the book. It is also very helpful for the author and the development of their fictional world.
When I first started writing my young adult fantasy novel, MER, I was like “A map seems way too difficult.” But I REALLY wanted one. And despite my inhibitions, I dove in head first. Hell or high-water I was going to have a map for my book, even if it meant handing my two-year-old a paper and crayons, and calling the scribbles my map. (Hey that’s not such a bad idea! Hahaha!)
I’m going to talk a little about my experience with creating my map for MER, soon to be released in late December, along with other methods of either creating or obtaining your map. And don’t…
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In honor of Halloween, I thought I’d share with you two books that are definitely going on my fright list!
Just ignore them, they wouldn’t know good literature if it bit them in the… Oh.
I recently had an article published with Spectacle PMG in regards to two books they will be releasing to horrify and thrill their audiences.
You can read that article here!
The books are entitled Disturbing and Eat, and they are for lovers of ghoulish things everywhere!
Got a thing for zombies? You can purchase the unique tales of Eat here.
If you’re wanting something truly Disturbing, then go purchase a copy here.
And don’t forget to go and read my article! ‘Cause, y’know, it’s amazing. Duh.
Happy Halloween… try not to be too frightened.
This concept is a fantasy, medieval style game called The Towers of Eäryendë (A-are-en-day), and will have the feel of an RPG similar in style to games like Skyrim, Fable, and Dragon Age, in which the player controls a single ‘hero’ and has the ability to use melee skills and magical abilities to defeat the waves of foes that attempt to overtake them on their quests. Playtime will vary for the number of quests that a player feels comfortable completing, but should be anywhere from 60-100 hours, dependent solely on their effort. It will be for console and computers.
The Towers of Eäryendë follows the stories of Soljra and Devryn, enslaved in the country of Allinese, as they break free of their master and seek out the protection of the Magi in one of the towers. Soljra is a descendant from a long line of feared magical beings known simply as “Spellswords”, once wiped out by the Magi for their incredible powers, and Devryn is the son of an Elvish priestess and a human man with untapped powers that make him a formidable foe. They long to unravel the mysteries of their pasts and to gain better control and understanding of their powers as hired killers, Magi, and city guards hunt them down.
In Towers, you play as a female character, Soljra, or a male character, Devryn, with customizable armor and weapons picked up throughout your journey. Similar to Skyrim, you have the capability of taking on new quests as they appear and completing them in your own time, and either separate to, or parallel with the main world quest. The map will be large, free-roaming style with little limitation as to where your character can and cannot go—obviously, you cannot swim for three miles out to sea or scale the very tip of a mountain. View will be in third person. You have the option to be solo, or in a party of up to three NPCs, and can set the role that they play in the group, such as healer, defender, melee, or ranged attackers.
Despite choosing one character or the other, quests will vary based on the character chosen as well as the actions that they take. Choosing Devryn will give you a quest line more geared towards unraveling his story, and the same will happen if you pick Soljra. They will of course, have an interwoven story line, and “boss” characters that challenge the player’s abilities at key points and award rare items and large amounts of XP at defeat.
Game power ups will mainly consist of add-ons to attack, defense, and skill points, which I imagine would be styled in a fashion similar to a Dungeons & Dragons game, in which points must be “rolled” against each round to see if attack and defense overcome their enemies. Characters will have special abilities that are unique to them, and are turn-based.
Get a copy of the sample script here!