Guest blog with Alex J Cavanaugh

September 13, 2010 at 5:40 am (September Blog Tour) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Note from Cassandra: Thanks Alex for hosting me on your blog today and thanks for your guest post here on the realm. I hope everyone enjoys reading your thoughts.

In Tune with Writing

Every writer needs inspiration. We can envision a great story, but if we’re not inspired as we write, it falls into the neglected pile of incomplete projects. How do we maintain motivation for our characters and scenes?

It’s no secret I’m a music lover. Music moves me on every level. It uplifts me when I feel down or depressed. Music channels my anger when rage threatens to get the better of me. Since music affects my mood, I decided to use that to my advantage when writing.

Every scene possesses a mood. An action scene contains tension. A tragic scene boasts angst. A love scene… well, that one’s obvious! But regardless of the moment, there’s atmosphere and mood in every scene we create.

This is where music comes into play. A soundtrack sets the tone in movie; the tempo dictates the pace and flow of emotion. It can do the same for our writing. I always listen to music when writing, selecting the best composition for each scene.

When I need to amp up the tension or focus on an action heavy scene, I select something heavy and fast. The rapid tempo conveys a sense of urgency and helps me to focus on a dire situation. The music magnifies the moment. I pour the resulting energy into my words, letting the rhythm carry the story. As an added bonus, I write faster as well.

For emotionally charged scenes and intense character interactions, I select music that fits the mood. It can be slow or fast, but it must stir the emotions. The feelings provoked by the music help me channel a character’s frustration, despair, or jubilation into coherent phrases and words. I connect on a more personal level with my characters, adding depth to their personalities.

Music allows me to feel what I am writing. It places me in the scene and inside my characters’ heads. If you’re seeking inspiration or connection with your work, try music. It helps me stay in tune with my writing!

Alex J. Cavanaugh
Website: http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/

Note from Cassandra: By the way, if you don’t know, Alex’s first book is going to be released in October. Check out the details and the trailer here.

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Love Triangle

May 27, 2010 at 6:05 am (fantasy, Work In Progress) (, , , , , , , , , )

I wasn’t supposed to have a love triangle in my current WIP. I’ve gone back through all my ideas and plans and nowhere in it does it suggest that character B likes the protagonist. Yet while I’ve been writing, certain things have been developing.

Character A and the protagonist are getting along swimmingly and things are right on schedule for them but Character B is just so rugged and wild and tempting that I’ve definitely been seeing some sparkage between him and the protagonist. The question becomes do I figure out what this means for the story, develop the relationship properly and then have a full love triangle, or do I try to steer the story back to its original course? Given that the original romance was really just a side plot to a quest story with a little bit of horror thrown in for fun.

It is a question I’ll have to answer soon because otherwise I’ll be too far along one path to easily change without a lot of rewrites and I try not to rewrite until after I’ve finished the first draft. Otherwise I just keep rewriting and the draft never finishes.

So – advantages of going with the love triangle scenario:

1. It is going to add tension between the characters and it will help flesh out character B’s role which in the original plan was clearly not well defined.

2.  It will help slow down Character A and protagonists relationship which is going a bit too well at the moment.

3.  It makes sense. It wouldn’t make sense for the protagonist to utterly ignore the fact that there are sparks between her and Character B, even if she only acknowledges it long enough to end it.

4.  It will be easier to edit out a subplot that doesn’t work later than it will be to add it in after the fact.

Disadvantages:

1. I don’t like love triangles. I find them a little cliché.

You’re opinion? Are you for or against love triangles? Have you ever created one in a story?

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