What Chord is Angst?

When trying to paint with music, it’s fun to sit at the piano and explore emotional chords. If you were a dark storm moving in over the peaks of Devil’s Mountain in a fictional forest, what chords would you use to create that mood? Or, a butterfly flitting from flower to flower on an easy Sunday morning at the same mountainside? Or, a lost little girl sitting on a rock with bleeding feet, wanting to climb down the mountain but not knowing how?

These are the thoughts that flood my mind at times as I sit on the bench in front of my piano, letting my fingers aimlessly create moods. How delightful to explore the depths of human emotion in sound. Not so fun in real life.

Funky Research Links for Novelists

OK, I admit it. I love research. And as I am researching bits and pieces for various projects, I periodically stumble across funky news releases, stories, or just plain hard-to-believe pieces that I think are fodder for novels. This blog will become a compendium for those links.

If you are a novelist and can sense the story or intrigue or suspense behind these kinds of links, have at’em. The creative story possibilities are endless! Like THIS LINK. Do we live in a free press environment…or do we not? And what kind of story threads can YOU spin from an article like that one?

Don’t Stay Discouraged

We often hear, “Don’t get discouraged.” I’d rather it be worded, “Don’t STAY discouraged.”

Discouragement is all too common an emotion. Most of us, if not all, have found ourselves living from time-to-time in that rundown establishment known as Hotel Discouragement. Do you visit there so often you have your own room? The trick is to stay there no longer. If we wake up in the depressing, filthy, crusted sheets of despair, the choice is ever present to get up and move to a sunnier place.

Here’s a good quote to help us do so. I found it at David Lebovitz’ website. He was speaking about writing cookbooks. Yet his advice pertains to all writers, artists and any other valiant individuals. David advises us all to shun the dark moods of despair, reminding us:

“…don’t be discouraged. Julia Child was rejected by almost everyone because Mastering the Art of French Cooking wasn’t considered salable. Later in life, another of her books that was turned down became a huge success.”

Hmmm. Good things really do come to those who patiently work hard…and who choose to move out of room 232 in that shady establishment, Hotel Discouragement.

The Strength of the Antagonist

I love this line shared by author Terry Montague. She posted it at a writers’ forum back in 2005: “Your story is built on the strength of your antagonist.”

How profound that is. How many stories have been spoiled by an unbelievable wimp of an antagonist, barely able to further the intrigue of the plot?

In other words, your ‘hero’ should have to work to win. If you want to spice up your current novel, see if you can’t intensify the ‘badness’ of your antagonist. It makes the story more nail-biting as your protagonist fights against a nearly unbeatable enemy.

On the Prowl for Cool New Products

As a creativity coach, I am continually looking for useful tools to help others who desire to dig deep, find their personal voice, and explore new heights in creativity. I just stumbled across this software today online and am curious whether this is a worthwhile look or not? Now I’m on the look for anyone who’s used it! :0)

Top 10 Reasons to Read

The next time someone accuses you of being lazy because you’re sitting in the sun reading (or on your porch or any other relaxing location), show them this terrific list. Erin Klingler wrote it, author of the new suspense novel Between the Lines. Loved the list. No more guilt for me for reading! :0)

And while you’re at it, you might start with her book, Between the Lines, as your first no-guilt read. It’s really a fun one!