Thursday, June 18, 2009

Brain Blockage and Musings on Writing

Writer's blahs sucks, doesn't it? I don't necessarily mean writer's block kinda blahs because if you don't feel like writing, why force it? It may read, well, forced. But not getting that mojo to write for a while, whether due to stress, work, family or just life, is a bummer. Especially when you know that contract is looking at you. (Eek!)

I've heard of some cool things that work like doing write brained exercises (word bubbles and clusters) and also mood music/movies. I personally love the latter. If I'm writing something like a paranormal I sometimes read or watch something that fits in the same kind of mood I'm writing. On the other hand, I may read a contemporary which offsets my paranormal so I'm not too lethargic when I sit down to write it. The brain, she is a strange thing!

My brain likes to give me a hard time along with my muse. Sometimes I think they conspire together just to torment me. You know, like in those old Greek plays where the gods and goddesses like to mess around with humans for their own enjoyment. That's how I see my brain and the muse. That would actually make a pretty good story: The Brain and the Muse. If anything it would help to get the writing juices again, even if it comes out a bit silly. ;-)

I know it may not be very authorly of me to say this but I think dipping into fan fiction can help writing skills. When I'm in between projects, I try to finish some of my fan fic I started a while back. I'm a huge fan of Star Trek (not the new Star Trek Wars, mind lol), Battlestar Galactica (both versions) and other spec shows but I've only really written in these two shows. Oh, yes and also a Blade fan fic which still need polishing. I don't show my stories to many people but the readers that do have been pretty happy to read them which makes me happy to write them. Sometimes that immediate feedback can help a bit also. Then, when I get that groove to go original, I'm ready to dive back into my own stuff.

Right now I'm working on my sequel to A Kiss of Ashen Twilight called Within the Shadows of Mortals. The stakes are higher than they were in the previous story and my hero and heroine, Jace and Ariya, have their relationship tested as situations really press their differences and vampire and faerie backgrounds. I stopped at a part where everything was in turmoil and some of my characters are hanging on the edge of life and death. Finally I added a new scene and will probably go back to make sure everything is falling into place. I think my muse and brain are finally letting me have a bit of leeway. ;-)

How do you guys get over writer's apathy? Do you ride it out or have little techniques to get through it?

Before I sign off, I wanted to introduce my new cover for my upcoming in-between Ashen Twilight story 'Upon a Tide of Wintry Moon'. The previous short 'From the Night, the Prince Rises' featured a son on the cover and I thought it would be cool to feature the father on the cover here. If you haven't read the series skip the next sentences cause I'm going to spoil!

I always imagined Adrian Paul of Highlander fame as my inspiration for Nightwalker Patriarch Julian Archane and I was so jazzed to find a model with a spiffy pose who looks kinda like Mr. Highlander himself to bring Julian to life. The short should be available around late July/early August time.

Happy reading and writing! :-)


Sandra Sookoo said...

First of all, yay for the sequel then double yay on the short! :-)

As for writer's block, or writer's constipation, I usually work on a different project and if that doesn't help, I'll read or just get out of the house. But yeah, I like to keep my personal reading along the same lines as the genre I'm currently writing :-)

Hope you get things moving!

Annie Nicholas said...

I would call what I've experienced a writer's block. It's more like I've written myself into a corner. Then I reach out to best writing buddies and brainstorm myself out of it. LOL

Beautiful cover, I love all the green.

J Hali said...

That cover is super!

Me, I use music for everything. Soundscapes to think and write, Jazz to relax, Tango to feel good (and it's great for the love scenes *grins*)

And sometimes I'll go out. Shopping, dinner, something fun and let go for a bit. I'll usually come back refreshed and ready for anything.

Elle Parker said...

Great post!

I create soundtracks for each project I'm working on as part of my early brainstorming process, choosing songs that fit the mood of the story. Then I listen to that whenever I'm working on the project. After a while, it gets so ingrained into my head that when I hear that particular music I get right into that headspace. It's very helpful.

Elle Parker

Grimace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebecca Royce said...

Sorry about the Grimace comment, I thought I was signed in as me but I was signed in as my husband. Anyhow, as i said, LOL, my current WIP was meant to be a tool to break writes block. Now I'm obsessed. LOL. Great post Rae.

Sandra Sookoo said...

LOL Rebecca! My pirate story was meant to get me past a blockage and look what happened to it! Then I started my paranormal/historical to give me a break from Veggie. I can't wait get back LOL

Sometimes writer's block is the best thing for you :-)

Rae Lori said...

LOL writer's constipation. That's a good term for it, Sandi!

You guys have a lot of great block breakers! I'll have to give some of them ago. I really like Elle's idea of creating soundtracks. Writing is kind of like seeing a movie in my head so that definitely fits and helps to see things unfold!

I think I may have to try what you guys are doing and work on something else completely different to energize me for other projects.

Glad you guys enjoy the cover! :-D

Z(Aasiyah/Nolwynn) said...

Lovely cover, Rae! I'd love to get me hands on that story!

Lol, I have a very strange way of beating the block - I do housework. Yikes, yes, I did say that! Turns out my body is occupied with something and I don't have any chance to fret physically, so the brain can just wander in thoughts and processes and make me come up with ideas.

Glad you got past the block though! The mention of the Gods and Goddesses made me think of The Rape of the Lock, which I studied for my A-levels.