Sunday, 26 April 2015

Monthly Soundtrack Reviews: TRON:LEGACY

Soundtrack: TRON:Legacy
Year: 2010
Composer: Daft Punk
Stand Out Track: Disc Wars
Works Well With: Science-Fiction, Action, Thrillers

At long last, we're getting to my favourite soundtrack of all time. 

It's so versatile, and every time I listen, I hear something new. Every time I pick it up, a different track will capture my imagination. Honestly, had I written this review a few months ago, my stand out track would have been a different piece. This score is just brilliant. It's really unique, and that's why I love it so much. Other soundtracks come close to beating it, but then I listen to this again and I remember why I love it so much. I just love the combination of traditional orchestral music and the electronic sounds Daft Punk are so famous for.

The Tron:Legacy soundtrack is a must own for any sci-fi writer. Even if you haven't seen the film, chances are you'll recognise the music from adverts and even the Sochi Olympics opening ceremony.  The electronic nature of this music will put you into a futuristic mindset. Tracks like Derezzed and The Grid are great to conjure up images of an urbanised future.

But this soundtrack isn't without its softer, more emotive side. Tracks like Father and Son, Solar Sailer, and Finale are just beautiful. Good for your story's tender moments. And Adagio for Tron and Nocturne will suit a tragic scene.  

Outlands (Part I and II) are great establishing pieces. Those dramatic strings pull you in. Imagine writing the fictional counterpart to such intense music. I think those pieces alone will inspire greatness in your writing.

If you love this OST, be sure to check out the amazing remix album, too, Tron:Legacy - R3C0NF1GUR3D. It's perfect if your story is action-packed. Want a taster? Try the remix of The Grid.

And should Tron 3 ever be made, I sincerely hope Daft Punk are behind the score. I need more music like this in my life.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Why I Blog: Community

I love our community of writers. There's so much support and encouragement available. It's a constant reminder than even though I spend hours at my desk completely alone, I'm not as isolated as I think.

Chandler Bing speaks to me on a molecular level

You really, really, really do have someone!

While I do the bulk of my daily writerly interaction on Twitter, that's not a platform that really allows for depth and exploration the way a blog can. And I wouldn't be on Twitter if not for good ol' Miss Cole Seeks Publisher. My blog is the reason I met so many of you guys! And it's led to real life meet-ups. If you've never met fellow writers in the real world, you need to do that ASAP. It's amazing to be able to speak with fellow writers who know exactly what it's like to go through the highs and lows of being unrepresented and unpublished. And, far more importantly, who know what it's like to be caught up in the rush of an exciting new story.

However, seeing as we can't all hang out every day (how would we ever get anything done?), blogs are great places to communicate with your fellow writers. Share your triumphs and your frustrations. Share what you've learned or ask what you want to know. Take part in bloghops to find people who write in your genre, or like reading the same books as you. And remember: your fellow writers are there to offer support and advice for when you have bad days. Everyone has bad writing days/weeks/months/years. You're not alone, and there's a place for everyone: experts, novices, and the curious.

Yes, a writer's life can be a lonely one, but you don't really have to look so far to find friendship and a solid support network. That's why I love blogging so much. I can keep up with your writing journeys, share my own, and we can come together to cheer each other on.

Is blogging dying out, replaced by things like Twitter? I don't think so. Yes, it's a big commitment, but it's well worth it. You won't see me giving up on this little corner of the internet anytime soon.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Camp NaNo Progress Report: Week Three

Goal: 10k
Current NaNo Total: 25,267 
Current Overall Total: 27,270 (I started this project before Camp)

Alas, between working a 6-day week and catching a cold/sinus thing, progress slowed a bit. Still, better that then running out of steam. The plot is coming together nicely. It's just slow(er) going. Part of me keeps worrying because book one rolled right out in 30 days. However, this is book 2, and the characters are more developed, the plot is building on what went before, and I've got a lot to keep straight. This is good practice for me as a writer. Getting better at note-keeping all the time ;)

Writing Music of the Week:

Apparently, being a tad feverish makes me really crave the cheesy 90s music of my early teens...

Fun fact: that video was shot in my hometown of Brighton :D

Friday, 17 April 2015

Why I Blog: Sharing Advice

While I have yet to make the leap from unrepresented to published author, I've still learned a thing or two along the way. And if my experiences can in any way help you, then my blog is where I'm going share advice and tips. I like to think I've learned how to dig deep and keep going, and if I can do anything to help a struggling writer do the same, I will.

I mentioned last week that I learned a lot from checking other blogs, especially where querying is concerned. I've adapted a lot of what I've learned to my own needs and ways, which is why I like to share my experiences with all of you. Maybe I'll share something that can really work for you, or be adapted into your routine.

It's easy to feel you're "doing it wrong" if advice you see is the exact opposite of how you work. Before I found blogs, I used to read writing magazines or "How To" books, and I rarely found the advice suited me. The more I tried to change myself, the more frustrated I became. And then I found blogs and a wealth of free information coming from people like me. Hooray!

This is us, blogging community. This. Is. US

I'd like to think that sharing my method may help others feel more secure about the way they write. Or maybe knowing my way won't work for you will reassure you you've already got it right. Either way, I like to share because it's good to know I'm not as isolated as I think, and maybe people out there do avoid plotting and diagrams and post-it notes as determinedly as I do.

TL:DR version of this post: I want to help everyone feel good about their own work. And I want every writer to know they aren't alone in their successes, hard work, or struggles.

Yay bloggers!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Camp NaNo - Week Two Progress Report

Goal: 10k
Current NaNo Total: 17431
Current Overall Total: 19434 (I started this project before Camp)

Yup, turns out 10,000 words was a tad conservative.

I'm writing a follow-up to my ghost story. When I finished the first draft back in January, I knew I wasn't quite finished with the characters. But I also knew I'm not the kind of person who can write a trilogy. I've tried. Instead, I thought I'd try writing a series along the lines of the Jack Reacher books - same characters, just with a different set-up each time. In other words, the books (assuming I get that far) could stand alone. I've got a little list of ideas I want to explore in the sequel, and it's running smoothly right now. Slower than the first book, but it's definitely moving onwards.

Writing Music For The Week

 Got to get into that haunting mindset ;)

Monday, 13 April 2015

Miss Cole's Tea Time - HT Decaf

Got a special tea just for my US readers in the east and south today. I picked up this fantastic decaf from Harris Teeter. It is so good. Quite probably my favourite decaf. Yes. Which makes it a real shame I'll only be able to pick it up when I'm in NC :P

Sometimes decaf loses the taste, but this HT Trader's Decaf English Breakfast is every bit as strong and tasty as a caffeinated breakfast tea. Perfect for those of you who like to start your day with tea but don't like caffeine. Or for when you need less caffeine in your day. Personally, I like this as my last cuppa of the day ;) Nice to have while I do some last-minute writing before bed.

So, if you happen to live in one of the eight states where you can find a Harris Teeter, be sure to pick some of this blend up. As for the rest of us, my quest to find a widely available and delicious decaf continues!

Friday, 10 April 2015

Why I Blog: Getting Advice

One of the reasons I started exploring blogs was because I needed advice. Advice on editing, and, later on, tips on querying. And while not everything I've tried has worked for me (No, plotters, I will NOT have detailed spreadsheets dictating chapter outlines before I write. No no no no NO!), everything has informed and developed my writing method.

I really wouldn't have known where to start with querying if not for all the trail-blazers who blogged about their own process. I learned how to query via blogs. I also discovered where to look for agents online, and how to be sure the agencies were reputable. Without the advice available on other writers' blogs, I don't think I'd have gotten as far as I have with querying.

It's not just querying. So many elements of my writing routine were inspired by other bloggers. My whiteboards, the awesome calendar of stickers, attending events like WriteOnCon and YALC: all of that comes from seeing other people talk about it. And it's not just that. I wouldn't have tried my luck with various pitching competitions, and I definitely wouldn't have found my amazing beta readers without my fellow bloggers.

So, if you're a writer in need of some advice, blogs are the place to find it. So many writers, from those who are published, to those of us still seeking represenation (Yo!) know that sharing their experiences may provide the advice someone else needs. We support each other. We want you to know what works for us might work for you, so why not give it a go? That's the great thing about the blogging community. There's plenty of advice. It's up to you to decide what works and what doesn't.

Advice I can offer: good tea and good music.

Any blogs you want to share? Shameless self-promotion is welcomed and encouraged ;)