Saturday, June 16, 2007

Setting the Table For My Muse

I've had a productive burst of new writing lately, taking me ever closer to the end of my book. This story has had a twisty turny life. I'm finally helping it to reach 'The End', and I can see the point where it all wraps up.

I've had to nudge it along as I always do by getting myself in the right frame of mind. This involves watching films or TV miniseries that capture the same mood and emotions of whatever scene I'm working on.

If my non-writing life gets too filled up with projects and helping this person and that person, my writing suffers. I've been working on keeping all of the helping down to an absolute minimum. That's really making a huge difference. And practice, practice, practice has made a dent with my time management issues.

I do so much of my writing before I get to the butt-in-chair part, and if I don't get enough time alone to mull things over, my word count suffers. That's also been something I've been working on over the past year.

So today I had a nice chunk of time. I have a scene that's really coming together that leads into some big ticket item scenes, and I needed to start laying out a place for my Muse to come and see me. I settled in to watch "Van Helsing" with Hugh Jackman, some highlights from "King Arthur" with Clive Owen, and the ballet "Giselle" by the National Ballet of Canada.

Considering my main character is based on Gerard Butler, why didn't I put in one of his DVDs? Sometimes I need that, sometimes I need something else. Today I needed "Van Helsing" because Hugh Jackman's character has several scenes where the emotional tone is exactly what I'm looking for. Plus it's got gothic vampire-y visuals that add to my mood. The "King Arthur" stuff was for the fight sequences at the end (right time period). The ballet? That might seem the hardest to figure out.

But it's simple, really. "Giselle" is technically a ghost story by the second act, with two characters who love each other but have tragic timing for when they each realize how they feel. That's a mood I need between my two main characters.

Tomorrow I'll need to pop something else into the DVD player. But it all goes into the secret mix that only my Muse recognizes. When she's had a good feed, she always lets me know.


toni said...

I so enjoy living vicariously through you, the writer. I'm glad you "see" and end to reach for. I can only imagine how one works toward that goal in serious writing.

littlebirdblue said...

Clive Owen's on my List of Five.

Akelamalu said...

Love the insight into a writer's mind, thanks for sharing.

Isabella Snow said...

OMG i have the same problem - I cant help anyone without taking over and doing for them, and then I get nothing done and blah and blah -

So now Im just going to evolve from bitch, to selfish bitch, and only do for me!

And Ive just finished a book, so I guess its working!

Devon Ellington said...

Percolation time and time management are the two most important tools in a writer's life. Good for you for honing them!

I can't watch or read in the genre in which I'm working -- I find it influences the piece too much and robs it of its uniqueness. If I'm writing mystery, I have to read or watch another genre, etc. I need the contrast to keep me creatively juiced.

Christine said...

Way to go Julia! I wish I had an end in site with my current WIP. Maybe I'll have to put a little Phantom of the Opera in (I really need 300 to come out on DVD) :)

Julie S said...

Glad you've found some time and congrats on being so close to the finish line!

Miss Frou Frou said...

Really great post Julia. Very interested to read about your muse... so maybe I'm not so strange that most of my story is still in my head! BTW, I love Clive Owen!