Posts Tagged ‘playlists’

A Need For New Music

Okay, Squiders, I need your help today.

I went to my old music standby, Grooveshark, the other day, which is where I’ve made my novel-specific playlists over the years, only to discover that it had been shut down (and in April. I knew I’d been focusing a lot on short stories/nonfic projects lately, but I didn’t realize that it had been that long).

I’m a little grumpy, because if there was any warning that the site was going down, I didn’t get it, or I would have gone in and made sure I had a list of what songs were in each playlist so I could replicate them elsewhere. So now I don’t know what music I had saved in there, nor how to find it elsewhere.

But anyway! I find myself in need of a new website to make story playlists on. In theory, this website should:

  • Allow me to make my own playlists of specific songs
  • Let me listen to said playlists on infinite repeat
  • Be free or at least fairly cheap, and, ideally
  • Have limited or no ads

Those are listed in order of importance. I’ve been out of touch on the music website front (obviously), so I have no idea what’s even out there. If you have something you use that you would recommend, or even if you’ve just heard about something that sounds like it will work, please let me know!

In other news, Hidden Worlds will be celebrating its fifth anniversary of publication at the end of the year, and I’d like to get it some new reviews so I can do some promotional campaigns. If you’re willing to commit to leaving an Amazon review (and, if you’re feeling generous, a Goodreads or Smashwords one as well) before the end of November, I will give you a free ebook copy of the book. Email me at kitmcampbell at gmail dot com and we’ll get the ball rolling!

The Progression of Playlists

While we’re on writing processes this week, I’ve run into an interesting issue with my playlist for my current project. (We’ve talked about story playlists before, but to sum up, I tend to make playlists for each story project with songs that fit based off lyrics, tone, and whatever floats my boat at the moment.)

I’ve had a playlist for the trilogy forever, with songs that reflect different points of all three books, and some that are reflective of characters. Occasionally I add songs, but I’ve never taken a song off.

But now, when I’m working on the third book, the playlist suddenly isn’t working. It turns out that, while listening to book three songs while working on books one and two worked just fine, I can’t listen to books one and two songs while writing book three.

On one hand, I guess it’s good that the books have gone through enough of a progression that the songs don’t work, but on the other, I don’t have enough book three-specific songs to keep me going for more than about twenty minutes.

Writing a trilogy is a bit like writing a longer novel. The points that you hit in a novel–the initiating point, the turning point, the dark moment, the climax–all happen in a trilogy as well, just on a bigger basis. (Well, and each individual novel still needs to hit them too.) So I guess it makes sense that, while a single playlist might work all the way through a single novel, it might not work for a trilogy.

But, for now, I’m going to need to spend some time trolling the airwaves. Anybody have any artists to recommend?

The Music of Shards

A few years back (oh, 2009 or so) I started making novel playlists. These are songs that, somehow, evoke a character, a scene, or the overall story for me. A lot of times it’s related to lyrics, and I find that different stories tend to work better with different genres of music. For example, for my high fantasy stuff I listen to a lot of symphonic metal. With my urban stuff, I find a lot more dance music sneaks in.

Shards is a urban fantasy novel being released December 1st from Turtleduck Press. I made a YouTube playlist just for you guys, so you can listen to the whole thing, or you can pick and choose which songs you’d like to listen to.

Shards Playlist (whole thing)

  1. Good Girl (Carrie Underwood)
  2. Mi Amore (Velvet)
  3. DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love (Usher)
  4. Chemistry (Velvet)
  5. You Give Love a Bad Name (Bon Jovi)
  6. Like a Prayer (Madonna)
  7. Take Me Away (Globus)
  8. Fix Me (Velvet)
  9. In This Light (Queensryche)
  10. If I Lose Myself (OneRepublic/Alesso)
  11. Fight For You (Jason Derulo)
  12. Higher Love (Steve Winwood)

I’m curious, do you feel like you get an impression of the story just by listening to the music, and if so, what is it? I’d love to know if your mind works the same way as mine or not.

Productive Ways to Procrastinate Writing

Procrastination is generally bad, yes, but sometimes you can’t write for whatever reason.  You don’t have a large enough block of time, you’re waiting on feedback or something from someone else, you’re in need of inspiration, etc.

Here’s some things you can do that are useful for your writing projects so you can feel minorly productive:

1. Playlists
Actually what made me think of this blog.  I wrote a blog post earlier about how playlists can be beneficial for your writing.  For my trilogy, I have an entire playlist, with songs specific to characters, books, scenes, etc, and I’ve found that listening to my trilogy playlist while I’m writing or planning the trilogy actually will give me flashes of scenes and an idea of direction.  Some people can’t write to music, it’s true, but I strongly believe that there is the right music for every project; you just need to figure out what it is.  (I have spent some time today listening to songs by this band I was just introduced to, because they have a nice tribal sound that will be a perfect addition to the trilogy playlist.)

2. Character Pictures/Icons/Banners/Covers
While some people take their inspiration aurally (like me), a lot of other people work visually.  If you need some inspiration, why not see if you can’t find your characters’ pictures?  Personally, I like this website – there’s a ton of interesting portraits to look at for something that clicks.  You can draw your characters.  Or, if you know your characters inside or out, you could put together an icon, banner, or cover for your book.  It helps you focus on what the strongest plot points are when you’ve got a limited space to explore.

3. Mind Maps
A mind map is a visual representation of something, usually represented by circles connected by lines.  Usually there is a central concept that all other ideas branch off of.  You can use these for characterization, brainstorming, or plotting.  Just remember to let it flow without thinking about it too much.  Mind maps work as a free-thought activity.  Who knows?  Maybe your subconscious has the perfect solution to that ginormous plot hole.

4. Maps
It’s not just fantasy stories that can use a good map.  Where is your character’s house relative to the store they work at?  How close does that cute neighbor live?  Is there a coffee table in the middle of the living room to conveniently trip that would-be murderer?  Maps help you keep your facts straight.  It can be hard to keep everything in your head while you’re working on a story, and having an easy-to-reference map with the information can be easier than trying to find where you last talked about something in your manuscript or guessing and having to fix things in later drafts.

Hope your holidays plans are coming along swimmingly, Squiders!