Rhys Ford: Babbling for Lou’s Pleasure.

This morning I woke up kind of late and ambled about. Made coffee. Let the dogs out to pee. The normal morning stuff. Booted up my laptop, Kai (all the best laptops have names), and read my email. And saw the alert that I owed a post on Lou’s blog. Swear to God, thought I had a day or so. I didn’t panic. I’m a writer! I can blog about anything!

I’d actually been kicking around a few ideas but none of them seemed to hold anything but a passing interest. Kind of like a dot of ink you find on your hand and you wonder… how did that get there?

So I promptly turned my laptop off and found a brush to clean the fans out with. Then I wiped down the keyboard with the brush to release any extra cat hair and cleaned the screen and keyboard with a damp paper towel.

I was THINKING! Damn it. It counts!

And I kept coming back to one thing… music. Which then jumped me over to styles of writing. Don’t judge me. My brain’s broken. I’m not wired right. Known that for years. Focus, focus, focus… *deep breath*… OOOOO SHINY! No judging! It’s a wonder I get anything done. But music!

Music plays a big part in my writing. I have entire playlists of songs to help me write and I’ll listen to them depending on the mood of what the chapter is or the scenes that are going to unfurl. Since I use an EXTREMELY loose plot, the music I’m listening to helps drive the scenes. Especially those scenes where I can throw everything in my brain at the page and see what sticks.

For the most part, I’ll find myself in something relatively mindless and driving. Kpop usually is where I’m at during the majority of the scenes. A driving beat helps me and it helps me focus on what I’m doing.

Something like this: Kim Junsu (Xia, Part of JYJ) Tarantellega

Sex scenes are different. God, they are different. They’re impossible at times because really, you want to make Tab A going into Slot B interesting. There are a lot of feet, tongues and fingers to keep track of and there’s always the question; did I have him on his back or stomach… goes back to reread.

So those kind of scenes require something different… something more mellow and melodic. Darker if you will. Like VAST’s Touched.

I was going to put Pretty When You Cry but it’s not my blog so I didn’t want to inflict that on Lou. Love the song. The video can be disturbing for people.

Action scenes? A HEAVY dose of AC/DC and Metallica. There are others… Classic Rock, a HUGE collection of Blues songs, Janis Joplin, Stevie Ray Vaughan and well, J-rock too. I use them to drive where I’m going. Because honestly, writers HATE writing.

Oh we start off loving it and then somewhere along the 40,000 word mark, it becomes a demon that suckles us dry and we are flailing about trying to scrape some sense of the scenes and dialogue and just everything. We become so immersed in the world and characters that we literally cannot see the forest for the trees.

Hello. I am here to nestle into your brain.

But you see, for me… music is a cue to dream. I can bathe in it. Let if flow over me. I can drink it in and let it wash away the dregs of the world that are clinging to me. It allows me to take that step into the forest where I’m a bit lost and cursing the darkness because I don’t have a single candle to light. Music is that candle. It’s that flash of starlight and moonshine to light up the way.

I know people who need absolute quiet when they write. I can’t imagine that. I can’t imagine the vacuum of melodic sound, the lack of auditory colour to help paint the scene. It helps me get through that last 40,000 words when I’m swearing at the minute specks of a storyline that seem to disappear when I reach out for them. Damned will o’ wisps.

So in all of that, a question emerges. What do YOU need in order to do certain things? A cup of tea while knitting? Television on while you eat? Silence while reading? Let me know. ::::grins:::

Oh, and I also need coffee. Trust me on that. Lots of coffee.

And a clean laptop.




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19 Responses to Rhys Ford: Babbling for Lou’s Pleasure.

  1. Pingback: Over at Lou’s.. « Rhys Ford

  2. What the f*** is it about the 40K word mark??? I’m still working on what gets me past it. Music definitely helps. I’m thinking a music and tequila combo… Although when I go back to edit something I wrote under the influence, I see it does terrible things to my typing abilities… Tequila is good for sex scenes, too. *g*

    • I dunno! It’s that point, isn’t it? THAT FRICKING 40K MARK!
      That’s where I always vomit out my brain. Heh… mmmmm… tequila. Whiskey for me. 😀

  3. I knew you’d come back to coffee in the end, pookie. 😀 ::hugs and smooches::

  4. Yes, the 40,000 word hurdle is it. It’s too long to throw away and too short to just end it. It just STARES at you. O.O With beady eyes. And a smirk.

  5. Patricia Grayson

    Pink, The Nappy Roots, Frank Sinatra and Delta Blues help me write. And of course Adele. Cups of hot tea, cups of black coffee.Keep the caffeine coming.

  6. Sure, Rhys, put up Pretty When You Cry! I love this post. A lovely reader just turned me on to Santana’s “Shapeshifter.” Wow. What music. The reader said it made her think of Sonny and Luki everytime she heard it, that it seemed like something Delsyn (RiP) would listen to. I haven’t been in the habit of listening to music (other than what’s in my brain) while I write, but more and more I think I’ll give it a try. Great post, Thanks for babbling for me! Send me coffee…

  7. elizabethnoble19

    I don’t have issue with the 40K mark, but for some reason I do hit a snag somewhere that has to be jumped over and fixed, then I’m generally good to go.

    Music, tv, I have to have some noise. I think the more the better. I adore when people post their music, then I find new things. It’s either coffee, tea or iced tea for me.

    Great post, I enjoyed it thoroughly.


  8. Treasure

    A lovely bit of writing advice I read on the web said to figure out the music your characters are listening to. It turns out not to be bad advice for real life as well. Mostly I can find my way back to the task at hand with the right music.

    • It’s good advice. Miki’s kind of all over the place and well, Kane’s a classic rock kind of guy. I think I’d go crazy listening to Aerosmith 24/7 :::Grins;:: I really need to get this book done. 😀

  9. Treasure

    And one more comment…Chicks and Dicks posted this today, the relevant part isn’t really the uniform, but the bit about the music as soundtrack. http://chicksndicks.blogspot.com/?zx=19e9f396efc1e17f

  10. I’m one of those “must have absolute silence” when writing. Although actually, I’ve never tried listening to music while writing. But I don’t have that need for music that I did as a teenager. Part of it might be that I always have a song stuck in my head, so no need to go outside my head to find something.

    I *have* heard songs that are soundtracks for a story or pairing, though. Usually something I hate and it makes me gnash my teeth when I realize it fits the story perfectly. 😛

    • I usually have to have headphones on. Be totally immersed in the music so I can focus purely on the white, you know? Of course, it could be because when I’m writing, I’m pouring out. When I’m reading, I’m pouring in and I hear nothing. :::grins:::

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