TUESDAY WRITING TIPS – WRESTLING WITH FORMAT

I have to confess to being pretty well stumped recently on the edits for my YA novel Street Racer. I was happy with the plot and the last half of the story, but the first part just didn’t seem to be working.

I’ve blogged about this before, but I’ve realised that what’s not working for me is my main character’s voice.

So over the last few weeks/months I have been exploring new possibilities for my MC. I had a thing for Master Chef for a while and thought that he might be  a cook, but I soon realised that WASN’T Ric. He’s not a chef, he’s a muso, a kind of rugged creative boy who’s not afraid to take risks. Ric ‘told’ me that he has his own band and that music means a lot to him.

So, it was time for a rethink. Time to make some music. If Ric was going to be in a band, it had to have a name – and of course he’d have a favourite band and that would need a name too.

So having come up with two band names that my teen and pre-teen son approved of, it was time to make some music. Gulp! It was time for me to take the plunge and write some songs – after all, every band makes its own music.

And bands write songs, don’t they? So that was my next task. That’s where the exploring new mediums comes in. To make my book, my mc and his band authentic, I needed to write songs.

I don’t have any expertise or experience in this field – all I have is my ‘creative’ brain, a willingness to try new things, a love of singing, a vision for my story, and some idea of how poems are written – and my philosophy that when it comes to writing, I’ll ‘give anything a go’.

After some angst and stress I emerged with five songs and on the whole I’m happy with how they’ve turned out.

Here’s a sample of one of Ric’s songs:

Engine oil

hot rod metal

pounding hearts

stamping feet

band plays

dog barks

rhythm and beat

rhythm and beat

Ric’s songs might not win any ARIAs, but this is what they do:

  1. Reflect contemporary culture and issues
  2. Fit with my main character’s voice and character
  3. Have rhythm and beat
  4. Have relevance to the story
  5. Add another dimension to my main character and his story

So I’m guess what I’m saying is this. When you’re writing a story, don’t be afraid to try something new, to explore new mediums to venture into a new realm that’s going to add another layer, another experience to your writing.

You never know till you try something.

Step outside the square and see where your creativity takes you. Apart from being a lot of fun it can really enhance your story.

Happy writing:-)

Dee

POSTSCRIPT: Street Racer started life as a verse novel and although I loved the verse, I have come to realise that it doesn’t work for this topic or this readership.

So, with heavy heart, I have discarded the last of the verse and rewritten it as journal entries.

As my wise 14 year-old son says, “Don’t worry Mum, you can always write a verse novel about something else.”


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4 thoughts on “TUESDAY WRITING TIPS – WRESTLING WITH FORMAT

  1. Creativity is so wonderful and powerful and often painful. I think you’ve experienced every one of those aspects during this journey, Dee.

    well done.

    Janeen

  2. Dee,
    that’s the pain and fun of creating something new, searching for the right fit for the glass slipper- happy hunting- you’re on the right trail- love the song!
    Lorraine

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