writer’s block sucks, but music helps

so, i have been a wee bit plagued by writer’s block on codename: mo for a couple (eek) months now. i’ve got probably 80% of the story done, but i’m struggling on the last act – not so much because i don’t know what’s going to happen, but more because i’m having trouble putting all the action i’m seeing in my head down on paper.

it’s a bit paralyzing, writer’s block. insidious, too, because it overtakes the creative process and hammers forcefully in one’s head the futile belief that things will never get finished, because you might just not have it in you.

i wrote the end to mo way back in the beginning. i tend to do that – i’m even the wretched sort who will flip open a brand new book and assure myself of a happy ending occasionally before even getting past chapter two (although, my nook has curbed that nasty tendency more often than naught lately). as a writer, i like to know where i need to steer my characters before i toss them through the wringer, so i can assure them (and myself) that it’ll all be worth it in the end. that’s not to say that i won’t change the ending – i tend to do that, too – but it’s the overall feel that helps me through the process. so, i know where the leads in mo are going and what i need to do to get them there, but there’s the pesky problem of writing action scenes. ’cause that’s where mo culminates in the final act, in a flurry of action scenes that require me to do a whole lot of research about weapons i have no clue about and fighting techniques that i’m utterly unfamiliar with. it’s bizarre, because i can see what’s going on, but…

i dunno. each time i write out a scene, it just falls flat on its face.

however – my saving grace (no pun intended for those of you out there in my writer’s group who have been patiently listening to mo over the last couple months) is music. i’ve got a playlist built for each of my books, and lately i’ve been hammering the ones for mo in my head over and over to get the characters and feel in. plus, i’ve been using my time in the car and shower, both excellent places for me to brainstorm, for some odd reason, to get these scenes right.

find/buy this print at etsy HERE

music is funny to writers. there are those who claim they can’t have it on at all while they write. then there are those who say they can only have instrumentals. and then there are those, like me, who would wither up in a small fit of despair without proper tunes to match scenes. the playlists on my itunes are frightening, data-wise, because there are some songs whose playback numbers are astronomical. i can put a song on repeat for a good hour or two while i write and never tire of it.

mo’s playlist is a bit schizophrenic, thanks to the story’s three points of view. i’d never written a story told from so many POV’s before, especially ones that come from such radically different places and motives. but i like it, and i like their influencing songs, and i’ve got them stuck in my head like crazy lately. which, obviously, means i need to share them with others.

so today, i’m giving you several videos to watch of some really great songs that have put a lot of background influence into codename mo:

AC/DC’s hells bells is super important to this story. yes, me – indie queen and folk music lover, adores me some AC/DC. shhh!

ironically, this video also starts with a bell. i’ve shared it before, but it’s so key for this story – sleigh bells’ infinity guitars:

Sleigh Bells “Infinity Guitars” from Phil Pinto on Vimeo.

maybe only hardcore U2 fans will have heard of this next one – alex descends into hell for a bottle of milk. it’s given me lots of fodder for back story and world building…

god of wine, by third eye blind, is such a hushed, anxious song, and i culled a lot of angst from that sensation for several poor characters:

and finally (although certainly not the last in the huge playlist), lifelines by i am not left handed is so bitterly gorgeous and haunting that it was spot-on perfect for all three MC’s POV’s during various points in the story:

now, to go and write that scene…

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