30 Days of Writing: Days Seven and Eight


Do you listen to music while you write? What kind? Are there any songs you like to relate apply to your characters?

It depends on where I am.  If I’m stealing a moment at work during lunch, music will be playing on my iPod (goes on when I walk in the office and remains that way until I leave).  If at home, I usually have something going in the background for white noise, but I don’t make a point to put on music.  CNN repeating headline news works just as well. 

Depending on the story or tone of what I’m writing, I can see how some music might get in the way and not fit.  This would bother me if I’m not completely in the zone of writing and actually starting to pay attention to the lyrics or melody of what is playing. 

If I was going to formally select some songs for characters, some dark love gone wrong songs (Jimi Hendrix’s Hey Joe or Miranda Lambert’s Gunpowder & Lead), extended song wandering music (Grateful Dead or Led Zeppelin) or dark-spirited (some Nirvana, Guns N’ Roses, Eazy-E) would work.  Not many butterflies and rainbows dancing about in my text, though I did have a serial kidnapper with a quirk for Michael Jackson songs.

What’s your favorite genre to write? To read?

Though I grew up devouring any books that featured the dark and twisted…Stephen King, John Saul, V.C. Andrews’ Dollanganger series…I didn’t originally lump my writing into the horror category.  I still held an old-fashioned notion of true horror involving monsters and since I didn’t have formal monsters trotting about, then I guessed I wasn’t writing horror.  Then as I started sharing my poetry and short stories, feedback from peers in class workshops was “um, this is disturbing” and “um, what actually motivated you to write this.”  I started figuring out that what I loved about the material I read was the twisted surprise of it. 

In King’s Quitters, Inc., the beauty is how getting caught up in the horror of a treatment center’s non-traditional philosophy could happen.  I find that I am fascinated by the “what ifs” and the idea of people’s reality behind the public facades.  That someone can be an every Sunday, church going deacon, yet a deviant molesting the Sunday school kids.  That the UPS deliver person is a contract killer.  That the IRS agent has a gambling addiction.  So I suppose my “genre” leans towards quiet horror.

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