Story in Songs

I’ve mentioned music and how important it is for my writing process before (here and here) and thought I would do a quick little insight into some of the top tracks for my current story [working title: Colors to Stars]. While the Spotify playlist has 90 songs and over 6 hours of delightful music to inspire, there are select ones that really stand out as representing the story.

In terms of tone, “Until We Go Down” by Ruelle makes my imagination go wild with ideas.Read More »

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Learning and Growing

For my birthday back in November, I received two new non-ficiton books. I have been steadily working my way through them, not wanting to rush through the treasure trove of information. Thinking back, taking my time and pacing myself in learning is something that I’ve always done.

Gail Carson Levine was my favorite author growing up, and a huge inspiration for me even to this day. Her two non-fiction books on writing, Writing Magic and Writer to Writer, are well-used and worn on my bookshelf from my days as a young writer. Each chapter ends with writing exercises, so it forces you to stop reading and do some writing. I usually didn’t go back and zoom through the book right away because after doing the little writing exercise, I just wanted to write more! The next day or later than week, I would go back and read some more, which would grow me and spur me on towards more writing.

Fast-forward to last year, when I found Brandon Sanderson’s 318R class lectures. After the first video, I was hooked. My desire to learn and grow as a writer had been revived. I probably could have watch all of them in one day if I hadn’t restrained myself. Instead, I watched one class a day, pausing to take meticulous notes, and often going over my notes a few times that day and trying to apply it to my story ideas. Rather than rushing through it in a couple days, it took me a couple weeks, but the time to soak in each lesson really helped his methods and tips to stick with me.

After the class ended, I began to seek out more materials on fiction writing. I knew I had a lot of room to grow as an author, and I knew the #1 way to grow was by writing and finishing novels, but I had been neglating the learning side of things. My hunger to learn had been realized. Sanderson mentions Orson Scott Card a lot in the class, and, Card being one of my favorite authors, that gave me some direction on where to start.Read More »

Something Else

Recently, I made my The Book Book Pinterest board temporarily public (seriously, go check it out! over 500 pins on this story-board) and I realized I never did a blog post talking about my most important Pinterest board for writing and story-board-ing:

Something Else

This board has become a staple of my process, now containing over 1,500 pins. I use this board in a variety of ways, but I will first talk about what I pin here. The board description says,

Inspiration/Emotion/Narrative Visuals. Images to use for building novel/story boards, to express the emotional or mental state of characters, to explore relationships, to establish tone, to visualize moments, and to inspire themes.

To break it down, I pin any image that…

  • Evokes of a smell or a sound or a feeling (texture)
  • Captures the feeling of abstract emotions, such as Joy, Sadness, Loneliness, Freedom, etc.
  • Visualizes a moment, such as a hug between friends, running from danger, a first kiss, etc.
  • Expresses character, often times these are more abstract images, animals, or artistic images that could represent personalities
  • Represents a tone, such as dark and gritty, light and ethereal, adventurous and inspiring
  • Is just generally inspiring

When working on a story board, such as The Book Book board, these pins are the backbone of it. Sure, I will pin world-building elements that give a very specific look to things, but those are usually only material images. Images from the Something Else board really help me to develop and understand my characters and story better.

Rosi Kallard, the FMC of the Book Book, for instance, has a variety of images to describe her:

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Read More »