Day Four

Today I wrote, “The streets were dark and without light.

Yes, that was an actual sentence in my actual Nanowrimo novel.

Fortunately, the inner editor kicked in and I removed it before continuing. Even though we’re not supposed to hit the backspace key, EVER (I remember someone saying that we should tape it over), I will never be sorry that I failed to hit it then. What a sentence. Eesh.

As I rather casually read over what I had written during the course of the evening, I noticed that I used the word dark  a lot. I am describing an evening scene in which my main character returns to her hometown. And even though night is falling, do I really have to use dark as many times as I do?

I guess that’s the lesson for Day number four. I need to broaden my vocabulary.

I never thought I had a particularly small vocabulary. I know a lot of synonyms and almost-synonyms, and a lot of words that are long and complicated and impossible to spell. But the problem is that I don’t necessarily use them.

When it comes to writing, I believe that the right word should be used. Not the most complicated word, not the least complicated word. The right word. I want to use the right words in my writing, and I’m pretty sure that of the ten or so darks that I use in my 400 word paragraph, I could find at least eight other ‘right’ words.

I know that’s not the point right now. The point is to get all those words down and fix it up later. But I couldn’t help noticing it, and wishing that I could think of something better at the time.

Mood: pretty positive – I’m still above the daily word count goal!
Word Count: 6,765
MusicSlow, Love Slow by Nightwish (the instrumental version)

Happy writing!

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Making a Nanowrimo Playlist

Someone, probably on the OLL blog, once suggested that you make a playlist that corresponds to what you’re writing on a given day. You put a playlist on repeat and it just goes round and round until you’re done with the scene.

I think this is an awesome idea. I can prep my scene without overthinking it – if I want to capture a feeling of melancholy, I pick a few melancholy songs and I’m good to go. And once I’ve used my playlists one time, I can just go back to the ready made mood-setter. Also, it means that I won’t be able to procrastinate by searching for adequate songs from my music library. Of course, I’ll be able to procrastinate by making long and elaborate lists, but I’m going to try and put a few together on the weekend, before November actually starts.

I’m a big fan of grand, symphonic music. I have played classical piano for almost 20 years now, and the modern music I like usually involves a symphony. When I was eighteen, I was introduced to the genre of symphonic metal, which has fueled my writing ever since.

Here are some of the pieces that I find particularly inspiring, and will be listening to (a lot!) during November. As I wrote up the list, I realised – a lot of these pieces are pieces I discovered a long time ago. I think I need to have a little more inspiration in my musical life. If you have a favourite song to write to, help me expand my horizons and put it in the comments! My novel may take roads I would never have dreamed of.

Adventure music:

Theme from Pirates of the Caribbean – Klaus Badelt
Theme from The Lord of the Rings – Howard Shore
The Hazards of Love (album) – The Decemberists

Happy music:

The Game of All Fours – Kate Rusby
Almost anything by Owl City (I know it’s sappy electro-pop, but it’s just so darned cute!)

Sad music:

Gymopedie – Erik Satie
Gnossienne numbers 1-5 – Erik Satie
See Me in Shadow – Delain
The Crow, the Owl and the Dove – Nightwish

Epic music:

Ghost Love Score – Nightwish
The Bridge of Khazad-Dum (from the Fellowship of the Ring) – Howard Shore
Theme from Princess Mononoke – Joe Hisaichi

Thoughtful music:

Lappi (Lapland) – Nightwish
The Wheat (from Gladiator) – Hans Zimmer

Creepy music:

Theme from Pan’s Labyrinth – Javier Navarrete
The Rite of Spring – Igor Stravinsky
I am Stretched on Your Grave – Kate Rusby

Scary Music:

Serenade Schizophrana – Danny Elfman

 

Now it’s your turn!

Muses and Musings

Yesterday, I found out that my favorite band of modern times has parted ways with their lead singer.

Their press release was muddled, uninformative, and came right in the middle of their American tour. Needless to say, their fanbase was upset and confused.

Symphonic Metal band Nightwish has had its share of problems regarding singers, breakups and bad press. They sacked their first singer in 2005 with an open letter that led to a well-deserved (in my opinion) storm of bad PR. Their parting of ways with their second singer was handled a little more delicately, but a careful look at the circumstances makes it clear that things didn’t end amicably here, either.

I’ve never been much for muses, but the music of this band always inspired me. The melodies and lyrics carried extra stories in them just waiting to be tapped into and released. Sometimes I would listen to just one song for days and days while writing a story to match its pace and theme.

The discovery of this news left me depressed. I love their work so much that I want to be able to love the people involved just as unequivocally. I just want to listen to good music, and write to it when the mood strikes!

But I’ve found that now the music has a little bit of a taint. It will probably go away in time. But I’m disappointed in my muses, as far as they can be called such. It’s unrealistic to expect that they be more than human, but as I revered their music for so long, I guess I wanted to revere them too. It’s like watching two good friends get divorced. You want to think that neither of them did anything wrong – but you know that both of them contributed to the current state of affairs.

I will continue to use this music as an inspiration, and to follow the journey of my favourite musical artists. I know I should separate their lives from their work, but that’s easier said than done. What do you guys do when an idol disappoints you? Have you had this kind of experience?