My first love, you may be surprised to note, isn't actually writing. It's music. My mother says I was singing (humming tunes) before I could talk. She always wished she could've put me in voice lessons but when I was growing up in our rural area of Louisiana, voice teachers were hard to find and totally out of budget for our little farming family. It didn't stop me from singing, though, and thankfully, my mom and dad both had a good choral teacher during their high school years. I learned a lot from them. :) What does all this have to do with writing?
The Music of Life
If my life was a soundtrack, it would be the most crazy roller coaster ride of random you could imagine. Songs and compositions would include:
How many of you hate, I mean absolutely despise Christmas music? I know there are a lot of haters out there. And goodness knows, the longer we live, the older it gets hearing the same five Christmas songs every year. I found a way around the hate for my own purposes. I love medieval music and there are so many holiday songs we never ever hear on the radio, simply because they don't go with some cartoon character. One of my favorite Christmas collections is the one put out by Annie Lennox. Here's my favorite from the album and indeed it's been a long time favorite of mine.
I love to sing Christmas music and to my utter joy, I got to join one of the local choirs for their Christmas production. I had so much fun singing with choir again after years of belonging to a church that didn't have one. I miss that camaraderie. Here's a photo from the production. My daughter actually sang as part of a trio in one of the songs and it was because she was part of the choir that I was able to join in. Here's a couple of photos so you can see us in action. The whole time we were practicing for this performance, I was prepping for Nano 2018 and writing that 50k words during the month of November. (That. Was. Insane. But I did it. ) If you'd like to check out my YouTube Nano 2018 Playlist, you can click here.
Again, what does this have to do with writing? Honestly, I can't stress enough the importance of getting out and doing things. Go experience some of the things that might be relateable to your characters to see how they might react or how they might feel in those types of situations.
The PTB (powers-that-be) say you should write what you know. How can you do that for fantasy? The same way you'd do it for non-fiction, you need to study, research, and experience. Now please don't go out and become an escort or something similarly dangerous in nature. I'm NOT telling you to do that. (We just watched an episode of Forensic Files where a college student (or maybe grad school student?) was studying something about people's awareness of aids and she became an escort to do so. It got her killed. So yeah, don't do that, please.)
So my fellow writers, be bold! Try something new (legal, moral, and within your means, of course!). Talk to people around you. Reach out to online connections. I can't guarantee you'll always get the answers you're looking for, but at least your writing won't be stagnant when you get back to it. If nothing else, you mind and body should be refreshed and ready to begin again.
Have you tried something new in 2018? If you feel comfortable sharing about it, I'd love to hear. Please limit yourself to PG-13 items/descriptions, though, because this blog can be accessed by anyone.
Melody Kittles writes fantasy fiction under the name Robin McElveen. She loves God, her family, the arts, a warm cup of coffee or tea, visiting friends, and collecting coffee & Pusheen items.
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