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Monday, May 14, 2012

The Writing Process

I very rarely ever talk about my process for writing.  It's a whole list of idiosyncrasies, superstition, learned habits (both good and bad), and copied habits from other, more effective writers I know.

Chief among them is the Playlist.  Everything I write since The Fab 5 (cheap plug) has had a soundtrack accompanying it.  And of course, by soundtrack, I mean collection of my favorite songs that are appropriate for the project.  The Fab 5 had a very heavy Notorious B.I.G. influence to it, to the point where the characters break into song on the bus.  The song they sing?  Juicy.

Punch-Drunk Bastards has a hip-hop/classic rock soundtrack with a few ballads for good measure.  For the fight portion of the story, songs that go along with it are by Busta Rhymes ("We Could Take It Outside"), Bamboleo ("El Bueno Soy Yo"), Jay-Z (Face/Off, several others), plus James Taylor ("Fire and Rain") and Tracy Chapman ("Give Me One Reason").  Certain songs fit certain parts of the book, almost like scoring a movie, and help me get through a scene and process it.

My new project-in-progress, Open, has a few more "love songs" in it, even though the book is darkly sexual.  Artists include the Beatles, Sade, Bill Withers, and Aretha Franklin.  Eclectic I know, but once you read it, it almost makes sense (Imagine "Come Together" at the kitchen scene, once you get to read it).  Anyway, from the Playlist comes the tone of the project, as well as the motivation to keep going, kind of like a workout.

I've also been notorious for going through notebooks like tissue paper.  Everything I've ever started to write, plus the original drafts of my first two novels, was written in a Marble Composition notebook.  Over the years I've accumulated quite a collection of those things.  Part of the reason NaNoWriMo was such a challenge for me is that it completely took me out of my normal routine for writing.  I loved it.

Anyhoo, that's enough ranting about my process for now.  Any writers out there with tips to share?

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