Music Monday – Back in Black – AC/DC

Welcome to Music Monday! As many of you know, music contributes a great deal to my writing process. Whether it’s a song’s lyrics, beat, rhythm, or tone, I find myself constantly inspired by it.

writing-to-musicOn my way home from work on Friday afternoon, I set my iPod to shuffle, and after a few not-so-motivating songs, AC/DC’s “Black in Back” came on.

Dc-Logo-Nature-Ac-Back-In-Black-Acdc-Band-Heavy-Metal-51360Before I knew it, I was dancing and head jamming in my car.

Well, until I came to a stoplight and noticed the guy in the car next to mine staring at me like, “Uh, what’s wrong with you?”

I hate when that happens, LOL!

Anyway, after I hit the gas pedal and left my humiliation behind, I replayed “Back in Black”. This time, I listened more than danced, and as I did, I began using the rhythm and beat to choreograph the action sequences I’m currently working on. All of the punches and kicks, twirls and whirls. Pow, pow, pow!

By the time I sat down and started writing on Saturday morning, my creative cogs were spinning fast. And they kept spinning all day. From dawn to dusk, the words poured out of me and the action sequences I’d imagined in the car sprang to life.

acdc-000000-0110 copySo if you’re looking for a song to pump you up and motivate your “Pow, pow, pow!” scenes, check out “Back in Black” by AC/DC.

What song(s) are you in love with right now? Which one(s) offer you inspiration? Let me know! I’m always searching for songs that motivate my writing.

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How To Write A Novel: 7 Tips Everyone Can Use

Welcome to Twitter Treasure Thursday! This week, I found lots and lots of writing gems on Twitter. The one I finally decided to go with seemed perfect for the majority of us. No matter what point you’re at in your project, this article, via @WritersDigest and @jennifermcmahon, is sure to have at least one useful tip for you to consider:

How To Write A Novel: 7 Tips Everyone Can Use 


2. Begin with character. Make her flawed and believable. Let her live and breathe and give her the freedom to surprise you and take the story in unexpected directions. If she’s not surprising you, you can bet she’ll seem flat to your readers. One exercise I always do when I’m getting to know a character is ask her to tell me her secrets. Sit down with a pen and paper and start with, “I never told anybody…” and go from there, writing in the voice of your character.

To read the entire article, click here!

And for more useful advice, follow Writer’s Digest and Jennifer McMahon on Twitter!

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How Do You Share Backstory Information

Welcome to Twitter Treasure Thursday! So, as I’ve been revising my manuscript, I’ve been trying to figure out how to slip in background details about my characters and the world they live in–you know, tell the reader about the main events and conflicts that have led them to where they are now. Of course, there is the wicked temptation to dump all the information on the reader in one foul swoop, or even squeeze it all into a prologue. But many consider those big no-no’s.

So then how should writers present the backstory? How do we slip those necessary details in without committing a writing sin or boring the reader?

tumblr_mg4zjrIVjL1qhd2y8o1_500 Well, today’s gem addresses this issue. Autumn M. Bart (@Weifarer) tweeted an article from the blog Guild of Dreams: Backstory.

How much backstory should I spoon feed my readers?

I belong to a large online writers’ critique group, and I see this question posted almost weekly. Every fantasy and sci-fi writer in the group hops on the thread and gives advice; time and again, the consensus can be summed up as follows:

  • Weave background information and world building into the narrative
  • Avoid data dumps of historical details
  • Under no circumstances put the backstory into a prologue

To read the entire article, click here!

And for more useful advice, follow Autumn M. Birt on Twitter!

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Related Articles

Questions To Create Character Backstory

In the Beginning: Tips on Starting Your Novel

Creating Your Characters Backstory (Character Help Part III)

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Friday Funny with Whys, Puzzles, and Lots of Tangled Thoughts

Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you all had a great week. Mine has been…

Yeah, ick with a side of frustration.

First, my job has been crazy busy, so not only have I lost a significant amount of time during the day to work on my manuscript, but also at night. By the time I get home, workout, and eat dinner, I’m too exhausted to sit down and work on my book. In fact, I haven’t worked on it at all the past few nights. I’ve instead opted for things like retail therapy and hanging out with a friend to watch the Delirium pilot.

Second, I hit a snafu with my story’s plot. After I sent my beta reader my last set of chapters, she returned with positive and negative feedback. Bright side, she LOVED my chapter 7. Downside, she challenged me on the general crux–the main “Why?”–of my entire plot.

Truthfully, it’s an old argument between us; one we’ve had since I optioned this book’s archaic version to Hollywood a few years ago. It seems no matter how many explanations I give her, and no matter how many solutions I come up with to make it better, she’s never satisfied. I finally hit my wit’s end last weekend after she yet again complained.

“What do you want me to say?” I snapped at her. “What do you want to hear?”

“I don’t know,” she sighed. “Just something…”

AHHHHH! I had no idea how to make her happy. Nothing I said was the right “something”.

Well, after a mini meltdown and a lot of brainstorming, I finally struck gold. I said the right “something” and she gave me the thumb’s up.

*cue glittered confetti and party streamers*

So, now that that’s finally settled, I need to go back and revise the first seven chapters to thread in my new “Why”. It shouldn’t be too hard–mostly tweaking my characters to ensure their motives align with the story’s altered direction. The real challenge will be figuring out how to unravel my “Why”. It’s so roundy-woo and all over the beepity-beep place, I get a headache just thinking about it.

Ironically, a fellow blog follower emailed me this week asking for advice on how to figure out the overall “Why” of a story. After a small chuckle and lot of thought, I wrote him back and said: A story is like a puzzle. Each piece must matter, and each piece must fit…

Well, everyone, I’ve got about a million puzzle pieces scattered across the floor right now and all I can do is stare at them.

So, in honor of my “Why” week, and all the new plot twists and turns, ups and downs, overs and unders, and–ahhhh!

*deep breath*

Here, enjoy today’s Friday Funny! 😉


How was your week? Are you scratching your head like me and trying to figure out your story’s “Why”? Or have you already put together that complicated puzzle?

Jen’s Weekly Roundup

In case you missed my posts from earlier this week, here go:

Music Monday – Freak Like Me – Halestorm

NaNoWriMo Tips – How To Deal With Deadlines

10 Tips To Get You Revision Ready