Brace yourselves. Lots of video links in this one.
These two tracks go together, not just because the title combination and the swerve from folk rock to trashy pop pleases me but because these are both squad songs. In the real world no crime is ever solved by a single person, though it sometimes seems like that. That’s even more true in my story where each character has only small pieces of a puzzle that they have to assemble together.
This is the darker of the two. My characters are in bad places mentally. They’re dealing with the loss of a friend but also with their own problems of physical and mental disability.
No I’m not going to defend this choice. It’s my playlist. Fuck you. Fight me.
But seriously. This song is on here because it’s defiant and fun and because it reminds me of this song.
This is a Tumblr track. I only know it exists because of my Tumblr friends (the RL friends who introduced me to Tumblr and the people I only know through Tumblr). My characters all have Tumblr blogs. Some of the novel is going to be taken directly from their blogs. We’ll get to see events through their eyes and in their own words.
The Project Cecil Playlist Page.
This track relates to another character with a traumatic experience of near death by drowning. This character however has developed a much more twisted relationship with water.
This character was much younger when they nearly drowned and the memory has mixed with hazy memories of watching The Little Mermaid while recovering and led them to romanticise the experience.
The song reminds me of the way that mermaids and sirens are used as symbols of dangerous women and their deadly attractions by a culture that pathologizes female desire. It’s also very chilled out which handy for a NaNoWriMo playlist.
This song takes me into the psyche of one of my main characters.
This character has traumatic memories of nearly drowning. This person also often feels like they are metaphorically drowning in their own body and sometimes feels the pull towards non-existence that is not quite being suicidal but also not quite not.
The drowning experience forms a link with another character that I’ll be touching on with the next track.
Playlist Page where this all gets explained.
This is another great song to go on any writing playlist, though probably only during the first draft. I think of it as the unofficial anthem of NaNoWriMo.
This is the only song on the playlist that’s there to make the act of writing easier. Everything else is about setting or plot or character. This one is just to remind me that writing the first draft is the fun part. And it is. For the most part. It’s everything that comes after that’s painful
For more information: Playlist page.
This is the sound of my opening scene. The last moment in the story where my characters still think that order still holds sway. This is the music that’s playing when the person who’s going to be the leader of my little group of sleuths finds out that something bad has happened to someone that she cares about.
This is a great song to have on any writing playlist because it’s like musical prozac.
When i’ve been down at my lowest ebb – and that is pretty fucking low – I have found myself self medicating with this song using the 24 hour version. That’s not a typo. That’s a link to a 24 hour long version of the video though the page is a bit buggy at the moment so here’s a link to a YouTube playlist of it.
For more information about what’s happening in here see this post and this page.
A while back I wrote a post about how I use playlists to create an appropriate head space for the novel I’m working on. Some people found the post quite useful. With NaNoWriMo approaching and a new novel in the planning phase I thought I’d share the project playlist and how I’m using it.
I don’t have a title for the novel yet so I’m calling it Project Cecil. It’s a nod to one of my favourite writers, Warren Ellis. When he’s working on something that’s under an NDA he gives it a code name so he can talk about it on his blog or his newsletter.
Project Cecil is the straight crime story I was challenged to write. I was having a lot of trouble with it but the process of building the playlist has already been really useful. It’s given me a better handle on my killer and on some of the themes that are probably going to come out. There’s 33 songs on the playlist in it’s current form and I plan to focus on 1-3 songs per post.
That’s the plan but since it might turn out to be as boring as all hell I reserve the right to drop it and post something else instead. The playlist is certainly not the only thing I’m going to be posting over the next couple of months. I have a lot of thoughts about preparation and writing a first draft so expect the blog to be heavy on writing stuff and light on Zeppelins until at least the end of November.
I’ve accepted a challenge to try and write a straight* mystery novel. Something with none of the usual weirdness that I like. Something a bit more vanilla. I thought it would be an interesting challenge, like limiting myself to the form of a haiku or a sonnet. I thought it would be fun.
I have a starting point and I have some characters and I have a premise but I don’t know where to go from there. The more I try to find my plot it the more my self-doubt screams at me that I don’t know how to do this.
But I do know how to do this. I know how a plot works. I know how to put one together. A plot is a plot and the supernatural and the fantastic and the weird are just trappings. It’s people and the things they do to each other that drives the plot. That remains the same whether the story takes place in the imagined past, in the alternative present and in all possible futures.
It’s like my self-doubt has latched onto the one thing I’m doing differently this time and is waving it like a fucking flag. Look at this. This is the reason you can’t do this. You should give up. You can’t be a ‘proper’ writer so you should just stop trying.
To my self-doubt I say this, “Shut up, bitch. I am a proper writer. A writer writes. I write. Therefore I am a writer. Sticking the word ‘proper’ in front of it is just a bullshit excuse for gatekeeping. Whatever I do as a writer you’re just going to claim that it doesn’t make me a ‘proper’ writer or a ‘real’ writer. I will write whatever I damn well please.”
Which is all very nice and assertive but I still don’t have a plot.
*Only straight in the sense of not having any of my usual magical or weird science shenanigans. It will definitely still be queer in every other sense.