Tag Archives: music

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

My current flu has made concentration rather difficult so my creativity has suffered this past week.I think it is struggling against a ‘fuzzy’ head that has made creation arduous.

What illness / situation has made your creativity stall?

However, I was able to begin beta-reading two manuscripts for author friends, one is a thriller and the other a memoir. Both are intriguing in their own way. I am reading each one at separate times of the day so that I am ‘clear’ of one story line before reading the next one. I have shared a list of tips on beta-reading for those of you interested.

Books:

I continue to enjoy Beyond the Precipice by Eva Blaskovic. The writing is creative and the interwoven music elements make the story unique.With my other reading projects it is nice to let the story embrace me and lead me forward.

beyond-the-precipice

Do you tend to read one book at a time or many?

Do you lean towards fiction or factual?

I still have this novella on my pile too:

the-outcasts

https://www.amazon.com/Outcasts-Maddison-Lily-Fox-Andrews/dp/1908128720

Writing Tip:

beta

If you are unsure of how to beta-read try these steps – I found them at http://jamigold.com/2014/08/introducing-the-beta-reading-worksheet/

Opening Scene:

Does the story begin with an interesting hook, creating a desire to read more?
Does the manuscript begin in the right place?

Characterization & Motivation:

Are the characters compelling, sympathetic, or someone you can root for?
Do the characters feel real and three-dimensional, with distinct voices, flaws, and virtues?
Are their goals clear and proactive enough to influence the plot (not passive)?
Do their motivations seem believable, with well-drawn and appropriate emotion?
Are the secondary characters well-rounded and enhance the story rather than overwhelming the story or seeming like they should be cut?
Are the relationships between the characters believable and not contrived?

Plot & Conflict:

Are the internal and external conflicts well defined for each main character?
Are the internal and external conflicts organic and believable, i.e. arising out of characterization and circumstance rather than feeling contrived or forced?
Are there enough stakes and/or tension throughout to make it a “page turner”?
Does the premise avoid cliché and/or bring a fresh perspective to an old idea?
Are the plot twists believable yet unexpected?
Do the characters act or react to events in a plausible, realistic, or believable way?

Pacing:
Do scenes progress in a realistic, compelling manner and flow with effective transitions?
Does every scene add to and seem important to the story?
Does the story move along at an appropriate pace, without rushing or dragging?
Is there a hook at the end of each chapter or scene that makes you want to read more?
Is the story free from information dumps or backstory that slow the pace of the story?

Setting & Worldbuilding:
Are descriptions vivid and give a clear sense of time and place?
Do the details enhance rather than distract from the story?

Dialogue:
Is the dialogue natural and appropriate for the story, not stilted or overly narrative?
Does dialogue move the story forward and reveal the characters?
Are characters’ voices consistent and distinct from one another?
Is there an appropriate mix of dialogue and narrative?

Craft:
Does the writing “show” the scene with the senses, using “telling” only as appropriate?
Does the writing quality allow the story to shine through and draw the reader in, or are flaws jarring or intrusive?
Is the tone appropriate and consistent for the story?
Is the point of view (and any changes) handled appropriately and consistently?

Overall Impression:
Is the voice unique, fresh, or interesting?
Does the story deliver on the promise of its premise and opening scenes?
From a reader’s point of view, did you enjoy reading this story?

Additional Questions for Comment:
Are there any confusing sections that should be made clearer? (Mark in the manuscript)
Do any sections take you out of the story? (Mark in the manuscript)
Is the story a good fit for the stated genre, and if not, why not?
Who are your favorite—and least favorite—characters and why?
What aspects are especially likable or unlikable about the protagonist(s)?
What three things worked best for you?
What three things worked least for you?

Music To Listen to While Writing…


music-splash

There are some wicked tracks on this list, many I do listen to, mostly the more ‘classical’ ones as they don’t interfere with my thought processes as much as a ‘popular’ tune would do. There is a tendency to sing along or revert back to the movie scene, jilting me away from my narrative and the ‘mood’ I am creating within it.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/danieldalton/write-music

I have a few favorite composers – Beethoven, Handel, Bach and Strauss to name a few, all of which were introduced to me as a child by my parents. The tracks I listen to are old friends and never disappoint whether I am writing or not. There is something so calming, resounding and comfortable about classical music. It allows my mind to relax and conjure up stories.

What type of music allows your Muse to flow?

Do you change the type of music you listen to in relation to the genre or scene you are writing?

On a side note if you have never watch Cloud Atlas – I suggest you do but realize you will have to watch it several times to get the whole story! Very cleverly done but initially confusing.

music-head

Liebster Award – Open To All…


I found this award over at: http://suddenlytheyalldied.com/2015/03/18/award-season-continues-again/

liebster

As I love conversing and sharing with other writers, I have taken up the challenge.

  1. What makes you dance?  The completion of a manuscript, the first sight of the new book cover and any music with a great drum beat.
  2. What is your favorite genre?  Don’t really have one… I read multiple genres and write them as well. I favorite Stephen King, Kate Morton, Felix de Palma, Maeve Binchey and James Long. So you see a broad spectrum.
  3. If you could have lunch with one of the captains from Star Trek or one of the characters from Star Wars, who would you choose and why? My husband watches these shows…not really my cup of tea. Although, I am drawn to the strong female characters. B’Elanna and Seven of Nine are great levers of those around them and do not concede quickly. As for my choice of Star Trek captains, I think I would choose Captain Kathryn Janeway – she stands her ground but her decisions are emotion and instinct based, which is her strength.
  4. Which five books would you take with you to a desert island? Ferney by James Long, Under the Dome & The Stand by Stephen King, The Lilac Bus by Maeve Binchey, Thrush Green by Miss. Read.
  5. Why did you start blogging? I was encouraged to begin blogging by my publisher and members of my writing group to highlight my passion for writing and to connect with other writers and promote my novels. I enjoy the community and interaction of my blog and set a schedule and theme/topic for the year prior to New Year’s day each year. One year I utilized a desk diary word of the day and created posts every day using the day’s word. It was a lot of work but was thrilling to see where my mind went to create each post.

Do please link back here if you take this award – I’d love to read all your answers!  Or if you don’t want to take the award, then answer some of the questions in the comments below.  Let’s get to know each other!

I would like to extend the invitation to my followers and these are the questions I have set.

1. If you could become a character from a novel, who would you be and why?

2. Given the opportunity where in the world would you live and why?

3. What was the first song (record, CD) you bought?

4. Which movie(s) do you wish had not been made from a book(s) and why?

5. Which era do you prefer in art?

Do have fun and link back so we can find your answers or leave a comment here.

No argument here…


ph-FAC-artintheplaza-2013Argumentative – definition: fond of arguing and disputing

I will take no argument – if you can possibly make it to the Arts in the Plaza today, please do. It is a free event and there is original work by authors, artists, potters, weavers – well you get the idea!

Today’s event is in conjunction with Strathcona Celebrates so there is lots of activities for everyone. A free pancake breakfast is a great way to start the day. Here’s the link : http://www.strathcona.ca/strathcona-celebrates.aspx

Strathcona

Pancake breakfast 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.         Community Centre (401 Festival Lane)

  • Free pancake breakfast supported by Canadian Progress Club, Sherwood Park
  • Free family activities
  • Verve Salon & Spa Ltd. will help you show your pride at their hair zone
  • Stage entertainment from Cooper Pump Record Studios Inc. – stage schedule
  • “Strathcona’s pioneering spirit at 10 a.m.”
  • Storytelling

Official Key to the County Ceremony followed by Roll Past and Parade         In front of County Hall (2001 Sherwood Drive)

Welcoming Tea 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.         In front of County Hall (2001 Sherwood Drive)

  • Enjoy free refreshments and cookies
  • Entertainment provided by Crescendo Music Studios

Strathcona Mounted Troop Musical Ride         1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.         Former Archbishop Jordan Catholic High School (160 Festival Way)

The Mounted Troop is reminiscent of Lord Strathcona’s Horse in the 1920s and 1930s. The 20-horse, 25-member Troop performs the Musical Ride. The ride is drawn from the Regiment’s traditions of the 1920s and 1930s.

Celebration continues with free activities for everyone         12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.         The former Archbishop Jordan Catholic High School (160 Festival Way)

  • Exhibition of both modern and antique military vehicles and meet the troops (Festival Way in front of Elk Island Catholic School Board)
  • Military activities by Navy League of Canada, 2551 PPCLI Army Cadets
  • Agricultural opportunities by Green Hectares
  • Aboriginal activities and performances
  • Experience life 120 years ago in Strathcona County by Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village and City of Fort Saskatchewan
  • Zipline
  • Inflatables
  • Family activities by Strathcona County Museum and Education Station
  • Stage entertainment provided by Crescendo Music Studios
  • Face painting and much more

Please note: zipline and inflatables will close between 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. for the Military Musical Ride.

Miok-McCormack Memorial Unveiling         4 p.m.         Festival Place (100 Festival Way)

Official military unveiling ceremony for The Miok-McCormack Memorial located in Broadmoor Lake Park. This memorial is dedicated to the memory of two Sherwood Park soldiers killed in Afghanistan in 2009. This is a community event and everyone is welcome to attend.

Free Movie in the Park and family activities

6 p.m. – 11 p.m. (Movie starts at 9 p.m.)         Former Archbishop Jordan Catholic High School (160 Festival Way). Also includes free family activities from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Click here for more details.

Food Services         12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. & 6 p.m. – 11 p.m.         Former Archbishop Jordan Catholic High School (160 Festival Way)

Enjoy great food and refreshing drinks from

  • Royal Treats
  • Funky Pickle
  • Uncle Milts Old Fashioned Rootbeer

Does Music Influence your Writing..?


Staccato – definition: having shortened and detached sounds when played or sung.

I have the great pleasure of having a sister in law who sings like an angel. She and a friend sung at my wedding and had the whole congregation spellbound. She and my brother now have three children who excel at music too.

Music was an important element in my childhood with my parents introducing my siblings and I to the classics but also tolerating our modern music. I was the heavy rock type into Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, Status Quo and the like. The boy bands and baby faced singers did nothing for me although my school mates were obsessed with them. Each to their own I suppose.

With an eclectic taste in music now which ranges from rap to rock to contemporary, I prefer classical when writing. Do you have a favorite type of music when you write? Does it reflect your genre?

3d3df1f7d1f382285315cbfd851c3329b33bce46

I found this article which links fantasy and music – very interesting. As well as the fact my fantasy centers around a travelling troubadour who spins his tales to the lords and ladies around the medieval English countryside. It must have been wonderful to hear the stories sung.

http://suddenlytheyalldied.com/2013/04/14/paperback-writer/