Monday, August 25, 2008

Random writing thoughts


6 comments:

Duffy Moon said...

Well, bluegrass and appalachian music is full of novel-ready stories. Lots of murder ballads there to choose from. "On the Banks of the Ohio" is one I've used as an inspiration for a story (sadly unwritten as of this posting).

I find the same recurring themes in my own work as well. It's the subconscious trying to get you to write about *something*, and I guess it'll keep squawking until you get it *right*, darnit!

Elizabeth H. said...

"Banks of the Ohio" is one I know well...nicely brutal, and a lot of mysterious details are left unexplained. In the version I know:
"I killed the girl I love, you see
Because she would not marry me."

We're never told *why*. Earlier they're talking about their wedding day, so it musta been something pretty serious. Could be good novel material.

Omie Wise is another murder ballad I'd play and rewind and play and rewind when I was little. I've mentioned I was one messed up little kid, haven't I? ;) But I think that one's too detailed to use.

I'm also intrigued by some pop and rock songs (yes, I listen to an odd variety). Like KT Tunstall's Funny Man. Or Matchbox 20's "Bright Lights". Or Brandi Carlile's "Wasted". Or lots of Bob Dylan songs. Or Gordon Lightfoot songs. Most are good for at least a short story....

Olivander said...

One tactic that's worked well for one of my local NaNites is to select a CD and base each chapter on one of the song titles.

Since murder ballads seem to be the theme, may I suggest Nick Cave's appropriately titled Murder Ballads?

The Good News and the Bad News is another good album chock full of story songs.

Olivander said...

Forgot to mention, The Good News and the Bad News is by The Rainmakers.

CStanford said...

I have to constantly fight to keep my protagonists from being autobiographical. But I think most writers, even respected ones, repeat themes, if not entire plots, in their various works.

Thanks all for the plotting suggestion. I have a promising setting for this year's NaNo, but no real plot yet.

Elizabeth H. said...

A lot of the themes that find their way into everything aren't remotely autobiographical, which probably makes for an interesting Freudian analysis. Like...why do so many of my main characters have messed up dads when my own father is one of the coolest guys I know? My subconsciousness's desire to understand the unknown?

Song titles as chapter headers is an intriguing idea! Maybe rather than using a full CD, I could create a shuffled playlist, remove any that don't make sense, and run with it....