So I’m trying really hard to do NaNoWriMo this year.
I have actually tried every year since 2011. My dramatic novel “Downfall” about a young girl, MacKenzie, who’s life kind of crumbles and she has no one to rely on but herself… well, that kind of failed miserably.
Then in 2012 I did an “unofficial NaNoWriMo” in which I attempted to finish up a novel I had started in college – “Damned” about a young sorceress and her coven who battle evil. I actually did end up finishing this one! But I felt it was slightly cheating only because most of it had been written in college.
Last year in 2013 I worked on another sci-fi/fantasy novel called “Chasing Shadows” about a young alchemist’s daughter who struggles to find the truth about her father after his disappearance.
That one didn’t get finished either.
This year I am endeavoring to write a novel which has no official title yet – the working title is “Slice of Summer” but I feel like it’s really trite and a bit cliche. This project is about Levi and Leo, a pair of band-mate boyfriends who struggle with their careers, life, and love.
This novel is going… meh, fairly well. I have a lot of moments where I think I’m pretty brilliant, and then a lot of moments where I think I’m probably the most rubbish writer on the entire planet.
I tend to write a lot all at once (catching up on word goals) and then I don’t write for days and days. Then I binge write and slack… well, you get the idea. I am currently in a “slack off” phase. Well not entirely, I’ve been doing some research on topography and research on guitars. Both relevant to the novel but not necessarily each other. But I am now sitting at the computer with my “writing playlist” and limited distractions. I mean, if there was ever a time for me to watch 30 hours of cat videos it would be now. But no. I must resist.
Anyway, usually this blog is for my book reviews (Now and again I’ll share my work but I’m not about that life at the moment). I just wanted to share, instead, my playlist. When I write I’m almost always listening to music, even if it’s just hummed background when I get “in the zone”. For example, the other day I was “in a zone” and for four and a half hours I listened to the acoustic version of “Steal My Girl” by One Direction. Do you realize how many times that is? Approximately 72. 72 times I listened to the. same. song. simply because I was in a zone and didn’t even realize it had been on repeat so long.
But this novel, besides being about love, loss, life, depression, panic, and the struggle of following your heart and your dreams at the same time, it’s about music. I am… limited in my musical skills shall we say. I know a lot about music, I am very into music, but I cannot play a lick of it on any instrument in creation.. okay, I can play “Hot Cross Buns” on recorder. Champion of the world, I am. And clearly I am a Diva in my car, “do you believe in life after love!”. Ahem. Anyway. When I am writing I have music on, but with this novel it is slightly different because the characters are driven by music. They are driven by the way the words flow from their hearts into their instruments. If Levi is having a bad day he holds his guitar and releases his emotions. If he’s happy he composes cheesy rhymes while he’s dancing around the kitchen smiling like the Cheshire Cat – yes, that really did happen; and no I don’t always use such cliches, promise.
So. Because this novel deals with so many real elements and because it’s so deeply rooted in music as a form of expression, I have paid even closer attention to my “writing playlist” than I normally would have. Usually I chuck on some Muse and call it a day. Or I throw on Vivaldi and allow the music to float around my head with the words and imagery until I can regurgitate something I can call “a story”. This time I’ve been more focused on what the lyrics are, how the tone feels, would this song make Levi happy, would this song make Leo want to jump around the apartment, would Levi have written this song in high school when he was crying over a girl, will this song foreshadow, how would Hunter react to any of these lyrics? There’s so much more I’m thinking about this time around.
So here is a working playlist for “Slice of Summer” – just felt the need to share it because honestly, I’m probably procrastinating (oh and I hyperlinked each song so you can listen if you like!)
Probably the most essential song on the playlist though is:
11. The Wrecking Ball – Erick Baker
Does anyone else have a playlist for their novel this year? Do you stick to the same playlist or do you deviate?