Writing and Muses.

20121119-045848.jpg “I got this Mom.” ~ one of my reasons for writing.

Music is a muse for most of the writers I know. They all have a favorite method for choosing what to listen to when working on a novel. Depending on the scene and the atmosphere they want to get through to the reader will determine what music they listen to.

Others go for nature walks, read another book from a favorite author or exercise. I have even heard a few writers talk about coming to a breakthrough while washing the dishes! (Those people are crazy! I hate washing dishes!)

I have taken a page from the awesome Yasmine Galenorn and started putting together playlists that I happen to listen to while I am writing. I plan on adding these music muses to the back of the book. No particular order to listen to but you may figure out what music inspired what scene.

The entire writing process can be a mystery to anyone who does not write. Maybe I can help give a bit of insight into how ideas and images flow through the mind and body then out through the fingers onto the keys of a type writer or computer keyboard. Or maybe I should keep that bit of mystery and magic to it. Believing in a thing helps make it so. If writers were to lose the mystery of what they do then maybe there would no longer be magic in the pages of a good book.

Keep Reading and believing!

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My Kickstarter Experience: A simple starter walkthrough

So I have been thinking, I am going to try to do a Kickstarter for my novel I wrote for this years Nanowrimo. I posted a brief bit with a link to the page I am working on.

And then I thought “Hmm, I wonder how many other authors might want to try the same thing but are not sure if they can?” I decided to write a blog post about how and what I am doing for Kickstarter. Giving a walk through of my experience so that you can have a better understanding of what they do and how to go about doing it for yourself.

First off, Kickstarter  according to their own site:

“Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. Everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of ambitious, innovative, and imaginative projects that are brought to life through the direct support of others.”

The way they work is they are an “all or nothing” style funding. Either you meet your goal and get paid or your don’t and no money changes hands. It is up to you to get people looking at your project and sponsoring you.

This opens up a whole new world to people seeking support for their creative projects. For writers, this may help you decide if you are going to self publish or pursue traditional publication. Something to keep in mind when you are getting ready to set your goal amount.

When you first start your Kickstarter project they send you through their GUIDELINES to learn what is a proper Kickstarter project and what is not. Things like getting an album produced or, for writers, getting the backing to self publish your novel.

Next are the BASICS of your project. In this case, your book.

  • Project Image: Post the Cover Art if you have it already, if not post an image used for your author platform.  I am using a bit of art made by my husband that I am also using on Twitter. That way people will know it is really my project.
  • Project Title: For Books you can just use the title of the book or try to put something that is Eye Catching. I just put Death’s Hope for now.
  • Category: You will need to categorize your project. There is a section for Publication and sub sections on what type of thing you are seeking to publish. Fiction here.

(I strongly suggest going through their vids and such on how to pull off a successful kickstarter. You can get some great ideas and learn a great deal on how it all works)

  •  Short Blurb: If you tweeted about your project (135 characters) what would you say?
  • Project Location: Where is your project located? Kickstarter has a breakdown and you can look up current projects started by people in your area. If you are someone who likes to support local artists, check out what is being started in your area.
  • Funding Duration: This section is for how long you want your project to run on Kickstarter. They have a ‘small print’ section here. Read through it to learn what is the best action for your project.
  • Funding Goal: This is very important to research. Find out how much you will need for your project and then ask for that. Don’t get greedy. Look and see what other people are doing. I took a long look at the people who had achieved their goals and what they did.

Next section you will be asked to work on is the REWARDS section. This part was my favorite. Thinking up all the different things to reward my supporters with. Bookmarks, Signed book copies, Launch Party invites. Anything you feel would be seen as valuable and worth a person investing in your project. Keep in mind that you will have to pay for the things you are offering to your supports when you are setting goal and reward levels. Have fun with it and your supporters will too.

The next step is the STORY.

  • Project Video: Post a video about what you are asking people to spend their money on. It does not need to be anything fancy. Some folks might even think “Well if you can afford to get that video all cool, why you need my money?” It will make you look more credible if people see the person behind the project. Authors should really use this as a time to get your audience started.
  • Project Description: This is where you tell people about your book. What stage are you at? Is the book finished? Are you still working on it? What is it about? Tell people as much as you can without actually giving away the story. This is the section you want to be very honest and open in. People will read this to find out more about what the project is about and making their choice to give you money or not based on what they read here.
  • Risks and Challenges: This section allows you to show your supporters that you are fully prepared for the things that might happen during the course of your project. Print delays? Computer crashed and need to get a new one to finish the rewrite? There ya go.

From here it is all ABOUT YOU. Who are you? What kinds of things are you interested in? How can supporters find out more about you? Do you have a webpage? PLATFORM people! This is it!

There are two other sections to completing your project with Kickstarter. Account and Review. I am just getting into these sections myself so I will do another blog in the near future about what it is like to get through them. You will need to create an Amazon Business account and have either a Debit card or Credit Card for them to deposit the fund onto if you should make your goal.

I hope this was helpful for people who are interested in learning more about the Authors journey through the Kickstarter process. I will be posting more about this experience to share for future or upcoming authors!

Enjoy and let me know if this was helpful or not! Click the speach bubble at the top to leave a comment!

New Look, Same Great…awe who am I tryin to kid? hehe

What do you think?! Huh? You like it? I had to find something that was Me, my writing and the voices in my head.

The book I am working on right now has the Greek Gods in modern-day. Walking around. Yeah. I hope to get a bit of a dark feel to it with some hot sex and combat. (not at the same time). There is a light in the dark. Hope. hehe

The other book is about a sorceress. Who owns a nightclub. And falls for a police detective who also happens to be a werewolf.

Last book ties in with the sorcress…same world different POV. MC is a werewolf. (This one is the rest of the story behind the short bit I did called Full Moon Station which I am debating on posting here or putting up on Amazon. Talking to my friend and fellow writer Jennifer Sights who also has a blog here on WordPress! Check her out!) Let me know what you think, post it or not? Leave a comment below!

There is an Epic Fantasy bit I would like to do later on when I have had more experience as a writer and a Hard core Sci Fi because I love the genre so much I took a class on it High School.

In addition to the great new background I am rocking, I have added two new things I will be talking about after Nanoinsanity is over.

Reviews.

There are three things I adore enough that I would write about them and feel confident that I would not sound completely stupid.

Books.

PC Video Games.

Music.

I look forward to sharing what I am reading, playing or listening to and what I thought of them after.

DONT FORGET!! Facebook and Twitter ————————————————————————->>>> Over here on the sidebar! Like the page and Follow the Twitter! I like you so won’t you like me too? (I may not autofollow on twitter unless you take a moment to drop me a “Hey! I followed you from WordPress!)

I am always interested in what people have to say so don’t be shy, if you find yourself wanting to answer any of my random questions GO FOR IT!

Have a Great Day! I am off to try to catch up on my word count!! (I am at 30,582 and need 33,333 but would like 34,000 by tonight.)

The Write Frame of Mind.

My mind is in a fog. Lack of sleep, too much caffeine (NO such thing!!) and a house full of distractions are all on the front lines of the battle to write this book.

I have a word goal of 30,000 to reach before midnight tonight. I am at 29,313 and have NO motivation whatsoever. It is almost painful. Except that I am too exhausted to really feel pain at the moment.

Finding the write frame of mind is a bit of a challenge. (See what I did there? That play on words? Pretty shnazzy huh) There are several key factors to getting the write mind.

TIME

Some writers claim that getting up in the wee hours of the morning and writing before the day has had the chance to stretch its arm across the sky is the best. Others seem to be able to pour out their novel ideas in the evening when the world is getting drowsy and the light is fading away in a wash of colors against the clouds.

I prefer late night writing. After my kids have gone to bed and the house is quiet, I sit at my computer and let the words come.

PLACE

Coffee shops, libraries and bookstore that let you sit and read are all popular places for writers (and students) to sit and perform feats of literary amazingness (is that even a word?).

I like the comfort of my own space (and hate using public restrooms).

MOOD

Sometimes getting in the write mood is almost as difficult as getting your significant other in the right mood. It may take some gentle persuasion or subtle innuendo to achieve the goal. (Shameless flirting may be needed) Other times you might have to grab the Muse by the hair and drag her kicking and screaming to a place that gets the words moving. Music, lighting and general atmosphere are key factors in mood creation. (also depends on what mood you need for the story which makes it that much more of a bitch to figure out, but hey that is another blog topic)

Once you are in your place, with your Muse rubbing your shoulders and the clock hits the write time (like that one?) you should be able to generate words that fill the screen like water from the sink fills a cup. (Just hope the plumbing does what it should)

Creating a soundtrack for your writing.

Creating a sound track for writing has been brought up in several different places during this NaNoWriMo. I am sure it has been asked before and I am sure it will be asked again in the future.

Here is MY take on finding the perfect soundtrack to writing.

Spotify? iTunes? What is best to use?

That totally depends on what works for you.

If you can afford to purchase the music you want through iTunes, that is awesome! I have a few things I have bought through iTunes because I love the music and wanted to show my love to the musician in a monetary fashion. As a fellow artist I have no trouble supporting other artists. I just happen to be a low-income artist at this point. I personally can not afford to buy the music I love or that works for the moment for me. If you can, I strongly encourage it!

There are a few other platforms to use when looking at music to support writing. Pandora is awesome for those who like to be inspired by random music selections. You can customize the station to play things you enjoy and select the right ‘mood’.

I use Spotify. I love that I can find music that fits what I am feeling and can tailor the playlists to accommodate the ambiance I am trying to achieve in the scene I happen to be working on. (More on that later in the post)

The trouble with both Pandora and Spotify are the Ads. They can interrupt a good groove when they come in the middle of a great set of songs. They are random and can be irritating. I encourage you to purchase the full versions of these great music platforms if you can. Again artists supporting artist is best. The ads are the way that both Pandora and Spotify can offer the music they do for free. It helps pay the bills. Think of them like radio you can tailor to your specific music wants.

For me getting started with something motivational is a must. Eminem’s – Lose Yourself (found a vid on YouTube) – I have found this is the perfect song for me right now to motivate. It fits where I am in my life and my writing. Reminds me to grab the moment and succeed. It really speaks to me, one line in particular hits home…

“…amplified by the fact that I can’t get by with my 9 to 5 and I can’t provide the right type of life for my family cuz man these goddamn food stamps don’t buy diapers…”

“Success is my only mother fuckin option failures not.”

“…Cuz opportunity comes once in a lifetime…”

From there I have to examine where I am trying to be emotionally in the scene I am working on. Is it action packed? Fighting with short sentences and needing a feeling of urgency?

Techno or Dance. Something that gets the blood flowing and makes you want to get up and move. (Standing to write like Hemingway  had to during these scenes also might help give you a feeling of action.) I write and groove at the same time, the words come at the rhythm of the music. (Like right now listening to LMFAO’s Sexy and I know it hehe)

Do I need to be crying and emotionally unstable to match the mood of my characters? Or even to get the characters in that frame of mind?

Side note: I use to LARP (Live Action Role Play: Acting on impulse based on a set character profile) and in order to get myself into the mind of the character I was playing I would listen to music on the way to the event. I played a werewolf so I found music that fit. Metallica was a big hit for that character.

Before you start writing, think about where your scene is emotionally for you as the writer. What is the emotional state of your character? How about the ambience of the scene? Is it dark and foreboding? Or bright and full of rainbows and fairy dust?

Take time to just listen to a variety of music and find out how it makes you feel. Where does it put you emotionally? Find out where the music sends you and keep notes on what music/musician/bands say to you. Then you will know what to pull up for the writing.

Another way to use music is to think about what kind of music would your MC like? What would they be listening to driving down the road? Do you like the same things they do? Try listening to something you think they would like that maybe you would not.

Where is your character from? Germany? Big in the dark industrial and rave style music. How about Seattle? The home of Kurt Cobain and Nervana. Home of Grunge and garage bands.

Does your character play an instrament? What kind? What does it sound like?

When you know these things about your character and yourself, then you can start to put together music that will help you create the environment you want in your story.

What kind of music do you use when you write a scene that is suppose to be creepy? Leave a comment and share!