Writing inspiration for April

Notebook saying Inspire Me April 2016April has been another busy month – I did my first Camp NaNoWriMo and churned out 66,653 words of Abriny‘s first draft. That’s the best monthly word count since I started monitoring, only 350 short of my total from NaNoWriMo last September. So I’m pretty chuffed.

And now the end is in sight. I’m coming into the last few chapters, hiking up the action (and romance) towards its conclusion.

And it’s utterly terrifying. Because once I’ve written those fateful words “THE END” I’ll have to take a long hard look at what I’ve accomplished and decide whether it’s any good. Gulp.

In the meantime, here’s the soundtrack, reading-track and art-track to my successful month of drafting. And if you’re interested in the Camp NaNoWriMo experience and how it was for a newbie, sign up for blog notifications or follow me on Twitter as it’s going to be my topic for the next few posts.

Music

This has become my go-to piece when I want to create a moody, creepy atmosphere, a sense of impending doom or a character having to make choices they are intensely uncomfortable with. And there’s one particular character who’s generally on the receiving end, bless him. I do like to make my favourites suffer – doesn’t everyone?

It’s Decepticons, from the Transformers soundtrack – I actually remember seeing this in the cinema, aeons ago before kids and the attendant lack of time, money and energy cancelled my entire social life. Hey, more writing time, right?

And some romance for a change – there’s been a lot of romantic scenes this month, and trying to do heartfelt moments to a soundtrack of frantic action doesn’t work out the best. We’re still in the bittersweet, trying and failing to reach out to each other stage, so Falling Slowly from the musical Once creates the perfect mood. Here’s the full version of the song, from the soundtrack:

But I actually fell in love with the song when I saw Jay and Aliona’s rumba to it on Strictly Come Dancing last year. It was so damn beautiful, even though I’m not usually a fan of the rumba, and I’m so glad they won. (I digress, but, you know. It’s Strictly. And the emotion they put in the dance, when you consider Jay isn’t an actor and how shy he was at the beginning of the show… You’ll just have to excuse the gushing).

Books

Despite the heavy drafting month, I got through a lot of reading in April. Again, mainly on the library’s eBook system. Including the entire Divergent trilogy, Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch and The Shepherd’s Crown – Terry Pratchett’s very last Discworld book (sob).

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Divergent trilogy by Veroncia Roth.

None of them really grabbed me. You have no idea how sorry I am to say so; I love reading, I love books, and usually I can find something to be enthused about. It takes a lot for me to actively dislike a book, and I wouldn’t say it’s the case for any of these, but… Yeah. Can’t really claim any of them have inspired me.

I’m wondering if the more I write, the more picky I get in my reading. It’s as if problems which wouldn’t have bothered me before – hell, wouldn’t have been problems at all – can no longer escape my writer’s spider-senses. At least I’m not the only one with this problem – Gail Carriger’s blog this months features a post on exactly the same inability to turn off the editor’s red pen.

Divergent is worth reading despite its problems – it was well-written and fast-paced and pulls no punches. You probably already have, though, right? I mean, I’m sure I must be the only YA-reading person on the planet who hadn’t actually got round to it yet.

Ice Like Fire – I really wanted to like this one. I like the characters, I like the action, and I LOVE Mather, but I just couldn’t get into it. Maybe it’s middle book syndrome – I’ll still be going back for Frost Like Night when it’s published to find out how it all ends.

Pinterest

I’ve talked before about characters taking over. I’m sure it happens to every author. And all the non-authors all think we’re crazy, but we know better.

Closing in on the end of the book is really a bit late for one to be playing up. Only he is. He’s always been one of the most important secondary characters, but he seems to have decided that

a) I haven’t shown enough appreciation of how awesome he actually is, and

b) I haven’t even begun to realise the amount of trouble he can get himself (and consequently his best friend, my MMC) into. Yes, the same MMC whose soundtrack is comprised of creepy Decepticons music. He suffers.

So this month’s Pinterest inspiration is dedicated to a couple of Pins that reflect his new, irritatingly well-developed personality:

 

As always, if you come across anything inspiring (especially music – I’m always collecting new tracks) please share in the comments.

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