Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Motivational Tools

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 Motivational Tools:

How do you get "in the mood" to write?  Jump start your creativity?  Plan & plot your story?  What helps motivate you to pen a special scene?  Capture the passion of a unique character?  Do you exercise a writing routine?  Something that gets your creative juices flowing?  (Stay with me here - we're talking writing!)

For me, it's music.  I love music...the sound of it, the many moods of it, the feelings it evokes, the way I lose myself in a song.  Nothing conveys emotions like music.  It touches me, commanding my response with the power to alter or enhance my mood.  A song may encourage a waltz down memory lane or propel me forward through dreams of the future. I'm often overwhelmed at the raw emotions a great song or soundtrack can arouse in me and that's exactly what I need to write.

Music is proving to be my writing tool of choice.  Knowing that a song or melody induce my deeper, primal emotions, I put on my headphones and let music help me "get in the mood" to write emotional scenes.  I find myself turning to music more often when plotting & planning.  It helps me visualize characters in my mind, capturing not only their physical appearance but also the essence of who they are.   

As music flows through me, it infiltrates my mind and soul and becomes a tool for transfusing real emotion into my characters...heartbreak, anger, betrayal, despair, love, joy, if I can "feel" it, I can write it.  Music and writing are all about emotions and for me, they go hand in hand.

The potency of emotional scenes is enhanced by music.  Think about soundtracks in movies and the way music fills the theater, consuming you with emotions...anguish, heartbreak, turmoil, danger, or joy, love, happy ever after.  What would a movie be without music?  Empty.  What's a story if you aren't invaded and possessed by the emotion?  Empty.  Scenes that are moving enough to arouse a reaction from you, with characters that elicit your empathy, are vessels for evoking real emotions in readers & movie goers.  Like a magician, music hypnotizes me, enabling me to captivate and translate my own emotions to the characters & scenes of my stories.

I'm now building Playlists to use as motivational tools.  My list of songs is extensive so I'll only mention a few.  

  • Rebecca Lynn Howard's "Forgive" is about a woman with a devastating decision - Forgive him or Move on?...It embodies heartbreak, anger, betrayal,  and broken trust.  Forgive
  • Rascal Flatts has a song that reminds me of "missed chances" - words left unspoken - a love that slips away. What Hurts the Most  It's pure heartbreak and regret  - listening to it sets the mood for those painful "what might have been" scenes.  

  • Garth Brooks says it best in  The Dance - Our lives are better left to chance.  Live it, don't regret it.  Gives me chills to listen to this one.  Even without the words, the music score in The Dance is simply beautiful.
  • For pure raw emotion, Christina Aquilera & A Great Big World touch me every time with Say Something  - evokes such strong emotion.
  • Jon Bon Jovi can do no wrong in my eyes.  His songs run the gamut of emotions.  One of my favorites is You Want to Make A Memory  - I cry most every time listening to this one, and while there are many versions of Hallelujah, both the music & the voice of Bon Jovi move me in his rendition of Hallelujah 
  • And  a song with music that just "sets the mood" - love the sultry, smoky, bluesy beat of Black Velvet by Alannah Myles.  Black Velvet

How do you translate emotions onto the page for your readers?  What helps you set the mood in your scenes and bring your characters to life?  Do you use music to facilitate the flow of emotions in your writing?  Do you have any favorite songs or soundtracks that motivate you?  Whether you're a planner or a pantser, tell me how you get in the mood to write?  What are your motivational tools?

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  1. I'm with you. If I don't have music, I don't write.

    1. Me either! You can find any emotion you need to draw on in music. Genres don't matter to me as much as the "mood" of the music. I pull from country, rock, pop, blues - whatever I need at the moment.