Posted in Uncategorized

Music and Writing

I’m taking part in the Teens Can Write, Too blog chain for the month of February!  This month, we’ll discussing music and how it relates to our writing.

Music has a tremendous effect on the way I write.  I have my very own “awesome mix” of oldie tunes that get my creative juices flowing, and I like listening to different music styles depending on the mood of my writing.

Having fitting music can be crucial to writing those emotional scenes.  By emotional, I mean any scene with any kind of emotion, be it of the “Noooooo!” variety, or just “Yum, I love pancakes”.

Last November, I was writing a funny story for NaNoWriMo.  Let’s say that listening to ’80s power ballads is not ideal while writing a funny story about King Arthur in the 21st century.  But hey, my music player was out for the count, and I was at the mercy of the local classics station!  (“The Rolling Stones?  No way. *switches station*  Ugh, Aerosmith?  Why? *switches again*  Please don’t be Rod Stewart.  *switches radio off*”)

Still, the tone of my writing voice was somewhat moody in a boohoohoo sort of way, and my progress was sluggish – it certainly didn’t help the nervousness and pessimism about my progress that I recorded in the early days of that month.  (I had a little trouble keeping up the first few days, and wanted to quit.  My family said they’d still love me if I did, but in the end, I forged ahead anyway.)

When I’m writing a witty, lighthearted scene, I like an upbeat tune to keep my funnybone as conscious as possible.  Listening to the Beatles’ early, jumpier songs definitely helps.  (Is it a coincidence that, on the other hand, John Lennon sounds half-asleep in “Strawberry Fields Forever”?)  Likewise, when I’m writing tense, dramatic scenes, stock music or movie soundtracks with dramatic scores are my preferred tunes.  I especially love John Williams’ Star Wars score – the sound is distinctive and thrilling, and you can practically see the events of your story playing to that music!  (As for writing fanfics of movies, I haven’t found listening to their original soundracks particularly conducive, but a few people I know have mentioned it works for them.)

Sometimes, though, I need to concentrate intently on my writing, and background music of any kind only distracts me.  And then there are some places I’ve been where only Starlord would have the guts to turn on a portable music player at a reasonable volume; though we have somewhat similar tastes in music, I’m not Starlord!

I’m also not dependent on music to fuel my creativity when writing, but there’s no denying the massive positive effect music can have on the writer’s imagination.  If you’ve never written a story (or even a homework assignment) to your favorite music, I recommend that you try it sometime.  Write that essay about the Revolutionary War to the Star Wars soundtrack and see what happens!


This blog post appeared as a part of the February Teens Can Write Too Blog Chain, with the prompt: “How does music relate to your writing?” For more information, visit: and visit the other blogs in the chain.

(Allison the Writer does not necessarily endorse the contents of these other blogs.)

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Posted in Miscelaneous Musings, The Writing Life

The Queue Line

Somewhere in the archives of Highlights for Kids, there’s a segment of “Goofus and Gallant” where Goofus (the proverbial naughty child) puts too much food on his plate at once and doesn’t finish it, while Gallant (the proverbial model child) only takes small helpings he knows he can finish.

When it comes to creative writing, I find myself acting more like Goofus.  If I come up with an idea for a new project, I immediately start writing it down as much as I can.  Then, after awhile, I lose momentum (aka Writer’s Block) and the project is doomed to join an already long queue line of unfinished projects that I haven’t exactly shelved, but I’m not exactly fiendishly working on.  I do work on them, but only sporadically.

That’s not the most streamlined, aerodynamic method of writing (and finishing) books, now, is it?  But let’s face it, I can’t stop the ideas from coming when they do, and if I don’t get the basic gist of them on paper, they’ll probably be lost forever in my goldfish-like (or regal-blue-tang-like) memory.

The nice thing about this mostly impractical writing process of mine is that if I lose momentum on one story, I have plenty more to fall back on.   Variety is, indeed, the spice in life! When I get bored with my band of time travellers, I can move on to fanfiction; when my inner critic tells me to “get a life,” I can move on to my paranormal-mystery-adventure story; and when I run out of brainstorms there, I can go back to that queue line and select another story to work on, even if it’s that cringe-worthy one that’s been in line since I was twelve. 😛

Some of these stories may stay in my queue (do you have any idea how hard it is to spell that word???) line for a long time, but I’m committed to writing them.  They’ll eventually get done.

…I hope.

Posted in Adventure, Miscelaneous Musings, Mystery, Novels, Satire, The Writing Life, Written Works

Flora Dennis and the Island of Two Eyes: Chapter Two

Gee, that’s one long title….

Well, anyway, I’m pleased to announce that the next part of Flora Dennis and the Island of Two Eyes is out now!


 Lord Daniel Valjean-Allerdyce was not only an Englishman, but, as his hyphenated name suggested, of French descent.  When we were escorted to his quarters by the guest house’s manager, Valjean-Allerdyce sat in a simple wooden chair, wearing an elegant velvet smoking jacket and puffing heavily on a pipe he held in a strong, weathered hand.  The finery of his ensemble contrasted greatly with the room’s furnishings, but he seemed almost oblivious to the fact.  Judging by his silvery hair and dark, lined features, he appeared to be about sixty years old.

 The manager, a small, balding man who sweated uncomfortably in his cheaply tailored suit and wire-rimmed glasses, introduced us hastily before creeping back to his station.

 Valjean-Allerdyce rose from his seat, standing well over six feet.  His steel-grey eyes examined us critically, as though he was looking for the most subtlest of imperfections within us.  Self-consciously, I felt inclined to button my cardigan a little higher to hide my rumpled blouse.  When his eyes settled upon the eldest of our party, Miss Anna Montvale, something in his expression changed almost imperceptibly. When he spoke, it was only to her.

 “It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Mademoiselle Montvale,” he said with a slightly patronizing tone to his voice.  “What, may I ask, brings you to my lodgings … and this infernal country?”

Read the rest at the Poets Cove!