A Playlist to Revise By

I’ve shared my favorite songs to write books by before. It all started with my first Revising Playlist post, where I shared a few requirements from my revision music.

  1. It’s hard to stay focused when your soundtrack has words

  2. This includes even words in other languages you don’t understand, as that can still distract your writing

Last month I’d thrown out my previous rules completely and switched back to my listening to my current favorite songs. This month, however, I’ve moved into a sort of happy medium, to listen to lyricless songs that are still more song than ambient soundtrack.

A great way to accomplish that, I’ve found, is to turn to movie soundtracks. They are full of emotion and great for doing your English homework or writing for fun, and they help drown out the distracting noises of people that may be around you.

To add even more fun I’m sharing my favorite soundtracks for movies based off of books!

The Lord of the Rings

Of course I love the books. And the movies. I love great stories and this series fits the bill both in literature and cinematic editions. But I also love these soundtracks to play in the background for writing any genre of book because they just spark my imagination.

Pride and Prejudice

The 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice is my favorite on screen adaptation and I can and have argued with those who disagreed on this. Sure, there are screen editions that portrayed every single tiny detail that happened in the book, and that’s pretty cool. But the acting was completely flat to me in those versions so I won’t make myself sit through a painful performance just because it’s more detailed. Well, actually I can and will if the alternative is a flashy adaptation that really kills the source story (I’m looking at you Disney retelling of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. I still prefer the BBC version of the series because Disney completely missed the plot on this one.) But anyways, the music of this movie and the emotion of it is excellent, and I may or may not have watched this movie weekly in Middle school during 2007-08 and monthly at the beginning of High School.

Jurassic Park

A person doesn’t always need calm and soothing music to work by. The suspense of this soundtrack is really key for me when I’m doing work that I don’t want to do. It’s like the violence of the music soothes me when I want to put things off forever but know I can’t because I have a job to do and bills looming if I don’t. (Because that’s one of the joys of adulthood.) You may relate more to doing math homework you hate. Or some other homework that involves calculations if you are anything like me. It can be freeing to sort of vent your frustrations through the music.

Happy writing and studying adventures!

I hope my favorite songs can help you focus on whatever work you have on your plate, like they’ve helped me.

 

 

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A Playlist to Revise By

I personally love music. I love listening to it. I love just going about the average every day parts of my life to a soundtrack. But just like I shared in my last Revising Playlist post, I have a few requirements from my revision music.

  1. It’s hard to stay focused when your soundtrack has words

  2. This includes even words in other languages you don’t understand, as that can still distract your writing

My solution then? Skip the actual music and use ambient soundtracks instead, either meant to be white noise like cafe sounds or meant to get you into the mood for a scene you are writing with genre ambient soundtracks meant to sound like fantasy world music. And that worked pretty well.

But I still love music and want to listen to the real deal. Lately I’ve thrown out my previous rules completely and switched back to my current favorite songs.

Wait- Maroon 5

This song is completely stuck in my head. I don’t think it’s a life changing song or anything grand like that, but it’s a great earworm that my brain can not just let go even after listening to it maybe a dozen times on a recent long car trip.

Denouement- Amusism

This song is amazing. And free on Google Play. And amazing. And now I need to buy all the rest of the band’s music.

Sadly no Youtube video of it so you can’t really get a feel for it before downloading, but seriously the song is great electropop.

Later a Dream- Grooms

This is a great song that lies on the genre spectrum somewhere between acoustic and the easy listening version of pop. (You know what I’m talking about.) It gives me soothing vibes, while also being cheery. I’m a fan of this at any rate.

Happy writing and studying adventures!

I hope my favorite songs can help you focus on whatever work you have on your plate, like they’ve helped me.

 

Revising on The Road

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One of the joys of the holidays is to spend time with the people you love. Unfortunately, in my case at least, the people I love live far away from where I live. This weekend’s trip, in particular, involved taking a full day car trip to visit.

Writing on the road can be a little messy, but it can be done. Provided you aren’t the type of person who gets car sick and can’t handle reading or writing on a road trip, of course. Because if you have that problem, your best bet is probably to take your ginger pill and listen to an audio book as you lean your head out the window.

But for me writing on the road is not only something I can do, but something I like to do. It fills hours of monotony quite well, and it’s very satisfying to see how my book builds.

All I do is play music in my earbuds, and type away on a full keyboard laptop, and it works. The trick is just paying attention to what you’re writing.

In other news I enjoyed my weekend stay with family a lot. I got to see my cousins who continue to grow like bean sprouts, and I could spend time with my ailing grandfather, so it was a good experience, if a little sad. Fantasy is a great way to escape from sad situations, but for now I am content with my life and my family and I will continue writing.

A Playlist to Revise By

I personally love music. I love listening to it. I love just going about the average every day parts of my life to a soundtrack.

It’s hard to stay focused when your soundtrack has words

But writing is a little messy when I listen to my normal playlists. I’ve known since my student years that when I work in silence I can’t get anything done, but when I write to the pop music that I do the vacuuming by or use to survive commuting I end up writing snippets of the lyrics into my work. Sometimes that’s a pretty good thing, but other times… well, there aren’t many cases where the hero of an epic Fantasy needs to “Shake it Off”. It just doesn’t work for what I’m writing. More energetic music without words like Electro Pop makes me want to dance more than write, and that’s not really useful either!

Words in other languages can still distract your writing

One solution a lot of other creatives I know use, especially studio artists, is to listen to music in the same genre that they normally go for, but in a language they don’t understand. That’s helpful, but sometimes any words at all can be too distracting. Besides, even foreign music tends to have snippets of English thrown in just for kicks, and I also don’t need characters that are “ready to bingo”. (Don’t worry Super Junior, I can guarantee my lyrics would be much funnier or even plain incomprehensible if I ever attempted to write even one line in Korean.)

Maybe the solution for a distraction free soundtrack is not to use actual music at all

So the next thing I’ve tried was to use an ambient noise soundtrack instead of actual music. You can find hours long clips of nature sounds like rain or snow, or atmospheric sounds like a crackling fire or bird calls in a tropical paradise.

For me the best ambient noise for concentrating has definitely been sites that let you mix your own soundtrack with different volumes for different components. This cafe mix, for example, lets me adjust the sounds of clacking silverware, the low murmer of indistinct conversations, a quiet rain, and other little background noises.

Genre Theme Music

When ambient noise won’t cut it, genre themed music called useful titles like “Fantasy Ambient Playlist” or “Science Fiction Ambient noise” are pretty useful.

Of course, if all else fails, doing a quick Winnie The Pooh stretch usually gets my blood moving just enough that I can focus on sitting down and moving the magic of the Shadeworld series along 🙂

Vampires and Faeries and Mermaids, Oh My! Researching Politics to Write my Magical World.

Hi all. I’m the author that writes this blog. And the books you see on the main page. Actually I write  a lot of things to be honest.

But one thing that has made me waaay late on my deadline to finish writing PS The Dragon Fights, the second installment in the epic Shadeworld series, is that I challenged myself by writing something new I have little experience with. What does that mean?

Writing a Council Scene, or Why the Heck Did I Sign Myself Up For This Torture

Spoiler of First Book, also discussion of my next book (PS The Dragon Fights) ahead

If you’ve read PS The Dragon Bites (available on Amazon US here, or Amazon India or Amazon Australia or any other Amazon)  you’ll know that the wizards are leading the rebellion threatening to not only overthrow the Dragons that rule all of the Shadeworld, but to destroy their world itself.

In the next book the other leaders of the world come together to try to address this problem. It gets messy, of course, because even in a world full of magic politics is not going to be smooth sailing.

-End of Spoiler-

To write a battle council of magical creatures surprisingly involves some research into real world politics.

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Researching Politics

I’ve never really been a politician and never even ran to be the president of fourth grade, let alone run for any office more serious than that, so I don’t have a lot of personal experience to draw on. It was a little dry watching hours of Parlimentary and Congressional meetings on Youtube, but I got through it, and I came out the other end absolutely sure that I maybe hopefully understand how a political meeting of any sort would likely go down. Hopefully the scene reflects some of the flavor and verisimilitude I think I’ve gained through my efforts.

I hope you’ll read the book once it’s released live and tell me how well I did!

 

The Home Stretch

I’m down to the wire on finishing the revision process of PS The Dragon Fights. You’ll remember that the first book in the Shadeworld series took me four months to revise. You might also remember that I planned to finish the first draft and revision process for this book in just the span of the month of November.

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I didn’t quite make my deadline. I still have two chapters I am banging the keyboard keys over. The problem with being a new author and not having written many full length novels before is that there’s a pretty high chance I’ll end up writing a type of scene I’ve never written before. That means it takes me a bit longer to do the job.

I’m still making tiny steps forward every day though so the completely finished book that has been written and revised by me and then gone on to have the cover and all that other important stuff done should still be ready to go by December 16th, right on time for you guys to read and enjoy it over your holiday break.

Well, as always it’s fun checking in with you guys. But now I think it’s time that I get back to revising, so have a nice day!

Second Edition PS The Dragon Bites

I know you all remember when the first book in the Shadeworld series gained a new cover?

Now it’s gained some new content.

Thanks to the magic of Amazon publishing, this book now has some extended chapters. I also worked with a new editor to do a complete overhaul of the all of the content in the book so now there should be even less little niggling issues with punctuation or spelling. What can I say, that stuff is hard to take care of.

But no worries about any of that now as it’s all been revamped.

The editing process took a few weeks of back and forth with my editor and a few gentle suggestions from her about reworking some entire scenes, but I think the end result is even better than ever and I hope you’ll agree.

Please note that if you have already bought a copy of the ebook it has automatically been upgraded to the new edition. If you haven’t, now is the ideal time to read through it before the second book in this series comes out with tech mages, battles, and new alliances that threaten to make this rebellion more dangerous than ever before suspected.

This Is The End of an Era

Today is the last day of Nanowrimo. If you were not aware of what that is, it is a challenge to encourage new and struggling authors to write a first draft to a book that runs through the month of November. It includes virtual writing sprints and encouragement to get people writing when they are stuck in a scene as well as in person meetups around the world to connect authors together for some live writing encouragement. It’s basically a celebration of all things writing, and as an author I am all for that.

nanowrimo

I’ve participated in this challenge a few years in a row at this point. That’s actually how my first book came to be.

The book I wrote this year was the second book in the Shadeworld series, PS The Dragon Fights. My first ever Nanowrimo I tried to write this entire series as just one novel, but by the time I hit 100,000 words (an average book is more like 60-70k) and had barely begun the plot I realized that the story was waaay to big to fit into one book. Then I tried outlining like other more experienced authors had recommended I do and realized that if I just took the scenes I already had in my head right now I had eight books worth of chapters, and every time I wrote a book it felt like another several chapters popped up in my head so I feel confident that to tell this story well I am going to have to write all ten books I have since announced on this blog.

With this November done I am finally another book closer to that goal. Especially because I did something pretty radical and decided to not just write the first draft in a month, but write AND revise the entire book in just thirty days. I can tell you it was a real roller coaster and challenged both my professional skills and my perseverance, but I finally finished it all today. I’m looking forward to talking with you guys more tomorrow, but for now I am happy to celebrate my victory and I’m glad I got to share that with you all.

New Covers!

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Yes, I know I’ve already done a cover reveal for the first book in the series. But now I’m doing an even cooler cover reveal, because I have a new and improved cover! What do you think? I think it looks gorgeous and I’m so happy I did this. It was great to work with Stefanie at Beetiful Covers and I’m so excited to work with her for the rest of this series, and maybe for future series as well.

Do you like the new cover?