Musical fiction is a genre of fiction in which music is the main subject matter of the narrative. It can also be through the rhythm and flow of the prose itself. As a literary sub-genre it engages musical pretexts, as well a relationship to a musical model.
June Skinner stated in her book, The Best of Rock Fiction – “Rock fiction has not received the proper respect it deserves, which is unfortunate given the caliber of writers who have captured its fleeting essence on the written page.”
Novels written with a musical component can be base on the era, a personality or a vehicle to set the ‘mood’ of the narrative.
One of my favorites is High Fidelity by Nick Hornby, the movie of the same name starring John Cusack was full of musical references.
A graphic novel is made up of comic styled content rarely using any words but a lot of pictures. The term “graphic novel” is broadly applied and can include fiction, non-fiction, and anthologized work. This type of novel was originally created in the 1940’s and 50’s. The definition is – a fictional story that is presented in comic-strip format and published as a book.
The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck is the oldest recognized American example of a comic subsequently published as a ‘novel’ in 1828. The genre grew in popularity from the 1920’s through to the late 1960’s, when American comic book creators were becoming more adventurous with the form. While, in continental Europe, the tradition of collecting serials of popular strips, such as The Adventures of Tintin became popular.
Gil Kane and Archie Goodwin’s Blackmark (1971), was a science fiction/sword-and-sorcery paperback published by Bantam Books and described as the very first American graphic novel. It was a 119-page story of comic-book art, with captions and word balloons, published in a traditional book format.
In response to criticism regarding the content of comic books, and to the establishment of the industry’s self-censorship, Comics Code Authority an underground alternative comix movement was created in the 1970’s. The term “graphic novel” was intended to distinguish it from the traditional serialized nature of comic books, with which it shared a storytelling medium. One term used was that graphic novels introduced the concept of graphiation, which was a newly coined term used to describe graphic expression or visual enunciation.
To have inspiration for our writing we must observe life, to avoid our family and friends abandoning us we need to engage with them, to pay the bills we must usually work a day job, to maintain our word count or deadline we must organize writing time. So the question is, how can we juggle all of these demands on our time with failing at each one?
Finding the ‘perfect’ balance between these is always a challenge. You may be in the depths of a scene when a small hand lands on your lap, a teenager ‘must’ be taken to a friends house, your husband needs help with a project or dare I say it your boss needs something from you? We inevitably crumble and leave the narrative in the hope you will remember the details later? We may scramble to jot down that idea, phrase or even paragraph before being torn away. I have looked to other writers, famous or not, and tried to delve beyond the obvious and gleam an insight into their methods of finding time. There are numerous hints and tips populating the internet but in the end you know your life and its limitations best. You may get up extra early, stay awake until the breaking dawn or cram a few paragraphs into your lunch hour – whatever works for you and your writing – is the right way to go. The trick is how to organize your time productively.
How do you schedule your writing?
What time of day works best for you?
I have to admit my writing is not scheduled. I take advantage of any time I’m left alone and once absorbed find it difficult to let go. Weekend mornings are good for me as I get up early and have several hours while my daughter is still sleeping and my husband is playing about in the garage! Other times I can use are the evenings when I arrive early for writing group meetings and write until the allotted time. Other ‘escape’ opportunities do arise and I always take advantage of them: a cancelled appointment, the house to myself or the glory of a writing retreat! Obviously, I dream of the day I can shut myself away with my laptop and not have to answer to anyone…it will happen I just need to be patient.
With my freelance work increasingly demanding more of my time, I have to split my writing with that of clients. Maybe I am wrong but I tend to complete a client’s work prior to my own. Having a deadline for a paying job and completing it is, to my mind, more important and vital: a) for repeated work b) for remuneration. That is not to say I believe my own writing is secondary, far from it. Within my writing group, Writers Foundation of Strathcona County, I am fortunate to have other writers who engage in an annual novel workshop. At the beginning of the year, when several of us have participated in NaNoWriMo and others are ready to share their first draft, we meet every month until June (sometimes longer). We section our novels and email them to each other, then edit and comment on the narrative. Then at month’s end email our editing and meet to discuss the stories. It is beta reading within a ‘safe’ environment if you will. This mutual assistance enables me to edit my current manuscript with the views of several other authors and a ‘faster’ editing process too.
Care to share your writing schedule or tips you found useful?
My writing area expands a little each year! Where do you write?