I’m embarrassed to admit having written the followingÂ in “How to Write
Writing in a consistent voice is critical to sustainingÂ your story’s world andÂ your hero’s point of view.
Select a piece of music that epitomizes your hero beforeÂ working on the story and when you make a few minutes to write, play that song.Â Perspective returns and the words fall into place.
If music doesnâ€™t work, try something that speaks to you;Â a white noise venueÂ likeÂ the food court at your local mall orÂ in front ofÂ a random Law & Order episode. Eat a particular sort of food or burn incense.Â Everyone is sensitive to different stimuli â€“ findÂ your inspiration.
I didn’t mean to be patronizing.Â But tonightÂ I realized once the mood is gone, a simple song won’t bring it back. “Mood” isn’t about ambient lighting; it’s the voice behind the words that hit the paper.
Sometimes, I just go with the new mood and see where it carries me; the characters react much differently and sometime better themes or plot points emerge.Â A recent “new mood”Â has given my story a darker timbre. I’m beginning to think will be more attractive and more sustainable over a trilogy; I’m beginning to embrace it. Do you have any magic methods to get back into the swing of things when you’ve lost your mojo? Or do you go with it?
I like what I’m writing now -Â punchy and casual. Folksy.Â But as an example of “the wrong mood,” I came across a letterÂ I wrote on vacationÂ in England, whenÂ I had plenty of time to write (unlike the couple of minutes I manage to drag out of the typical day-to-day).
I wrote the following, not because I planned to (not becauseÂ I felt like scattering toffee-nosed dross to the pigeons) but because that’s what hit the page. I’m glad I wrote it down but (as I suspected at the time),Â the only use I can imagine is as inspiration for an especially eccentric character.
Â Here’s my example of “sometimes you know when you’re not in the right mood to write:”
Tuesday we were up for a wonderful breakfast with Colin and Lesley. The pool the previous night gave us an appetite, and we cajoled them to let us spend a third night, since our plans at the next destinations had more or less fallen through.
Hunt day was sunny, with a crisp blue sky – we saw from our vantage point high on a grassy hill amongÂ a gymkhana of jumps, mounted hunters in period regaliaÂ scourÂ fields fallow and full, respendant below us. Hounds streamed along and through hedgerows that had seemed from ground level, impenetrableÂ 5-foot living walls.
Eventually, we lost track of the hounds, but had a heartfelt conversation with a wandering dairy man about the state of the economy and especially the dairy board, which closely resembled the quota programs Kevin recalled from Canada.
Finally, I will proudly add, I spotted the hare, ears tight to his back and gliding just clear of the ground, running a hillock beside hounds & huntsman in the opposite direction.
Whether he was lucky or lunch, weâ€™ll never know, but after the three of us lost the rest in the hills, we contentedly adjourned to the village of __ and visited the excellent â€œ24â€ dining room.
You can imagine, we were somewhat the worse for wear after roving the dales.Â Perceiving our initial demeanor was a trifle robust, I regaled my patient companions with a cautionary tale.Â Some years ago, a former sweetheart (attempting to soften the blow of our impending breakup) took me out for a sumptuous farewell dinner, only to have an obnoxious, drunken Texan goose the harpist, loudly blather rude jokes, and completely ruin the gesture. I said I hoped weâ€™d be quiet in respect for a formally turned-out couple in a romantic back corner of the room.
From my companionsâ€™ loud silence, I came to realize that if anyone gets out of hand, itâ€™s me. Oops.Â Oh well, I do love to remember that night I was spurned at a romantic mountain getaway (and my last motorcycle ride). I sighed, lost in melancholy memories, while Kevin and Donna chatted animatedly about the hounds weâ€™d seen, might see, would see, and would not be able to see on our brief vacation.