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Nastya

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Mine tends to be modern (as in not classical). I’m eclectic, but I don’t have any actual classic music on my soundtracks (unless you count “Wassail Wassail” on my Christmas novel’s soundtrack). Most everything has lyrics (though occasionally in other languages). I do listen to instrumentals while actually writing, but usually tv/movie soundtracks or Lindsey Stirling.

What classical songs have you given your characters?
Lyrical music is so diverse; it makes sense that you lean towards that form of music. Personally, I love music from other countries. (that may be my obsession with Bollywood talking) Instrumental music is good for studying and writing.

Lots of the classical music that I give my characters is from composers such as Dvořák or Saint-Saëns. Also a lot of music from the Romantic period (1820-1900) or from 20th century composers, such as Ravel or Shostakovich. my favorite pieces from the book playlist I’m working on now is symphony #40 by Mozart, Dvořák symphony #9, Mvmt 4, L’ Arlesienne Suite No. 2: Farandole by Bizet and Waltz from Masquerade Suite by Aram Khachaturian.

What music artists are most prominent in your novel playlists?
 
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It depends on the novel who’s going to dominate the soundtrack. Superhero trilogy had a lot of Maroon 5, Motion City Soundtrack, & Linkin Park. They make up a fourth of the playlist, but the other 3/4 are more varied.

None of my other soundtracks have as much of the same artist, but I have some M5 & MCS elsewhere, and other artists with multiple songs are Jason Mraz, Pentatonix, Sara Bareilles, Natalie Cole (singing her dad’s songs), Corinne Bailey Rae, OneRepublic, Matchbox 20, Dar Williams, Scissor Sisters, Ellie Goulding, Adam Lambert, Christina Aguilera sprinkled throughout multiple soundtracks. And a bunch of songs from Glee (but since I own 500+ of those, they were going to make their way in, eventually).

But a lot of artists only have one song on one of my soundtracks.
 
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lilysheaven

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AHHHHH My characters won't listen to me!!!

I've reached a scene, which I've written many times before but it has to change due to certain other parts of the story changing, and they're not having it!!

This means I have to go back and reread everything I've written to figure out what I've done wrong (and inevitably caused this rebellion!) but I didn't want to have to do that until I was done. At least with FMC's POV (I'm writing her POV first before tackling MMC's POV because it's two different timelines).

This crazy thing called writing. Why do I do this to myself?
 

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At least with FMC's POV (I'm writing her POV first before tackling MMC's POV because it's two different timelines).
How interesting! Even with two timelines, I don't think I would have thought of this approach for writing. I think it would have pros because you can stay in the moment of that timeline and in the head of the single character. Since that POV isn't dependent on what the other POV is doing (though I'm sure you juxtapose each scene between the two timelines with specific purpose), you're not "missing" anything by sticking to the one POV for now.

I wouldn't think to write it, but I know I would edit a book like that by reading through only one timeline at a time, at least for one go-round, because that's what I did with H/V and co. For most of the books, one or more POVs didn't know what the other POV was doing, and sometimes that meant they "woke up" without knowing what had gotten them there (or even if we didn't start with them "waking up," it was still good to check that it made sense from their POV (as much as it could)). By sticking to the one POV, I could experience the same gaps in knowledge the POV had. (For context: the POV characters all shared a body)

Anyway, good luck with making those characters listen! :e2Order:
 

lilysheaven

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How interesting! Even with two timelines, I don't think I would have thought of this approach for writing.
The very first version of this MS I wrote from chapter 1 to ending, constantly switching between timelines, but it didn't work for me because I'm a pantser and this is a mystery thriller. So the structure largely goes MMC is the investigative (present) protag who is trying to solve the mystery and FMC is the past protag who explains (shows) contextually how the clues got where they are.

When the really cruddy first draft was done, I actually started this approach. I first wrote the MMC's POV (because I had characterization issues which I spoke about before here, and I had to BREAK him), then I wrote FMC's POV. But now that they're both solid characters and broken enough, I wanted to write FMC's POV first because of the changes I made. The mystery changes a bit, so the clues are different. And I need to understand the clues as best as I can before I can tackle the investigative POV.

I know I would edit a book like that by reading through only one timeline at a time, at least for one go-round,
This is actually how I edited it for the entirety of the old version's existence. I think I STILL haven't read (that version) from start to finish as it's meant to be read.

By sticking to the one POV, I could experience the same gaps in knowledge the POV had
I think this was my approach the first time. It was easier to write from the MMC's POV first because then I could be as lost and confused as he was when he found certain clues lol. But now I'm already informed so it doesn't work, aww.

(For context: the POV characters all shared a body)
This sounds super interesting! And must've been fun to write. Was it like a DID (dissociative identity disorder) thing?

good luck with making those characters listen!
Thanks! I think I found the issue. MMC is acting out of character from a certain point onward, and it's messing with the chemistry and how FMC is interacting with her world. Not sure if I want to fix this now or just leave notes for future editor me. I might have to do some minimal fixing at the very least to carry on writing her POV though.
 

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:Hail: Wow, lily, you’ve heavily edited that novel multiple times. I’m really impressed. I’m not sure I have that dedication.


This sounds super interesting! And must've been fun to write. Was it like a DID (dissociative identity disorder) thing?
Yes and no. The body-sharing is not discovered for 2/3s of book 1, but for the rest of that and much of book 2, FMC believes it’s DID.

It’s not really DID because there were two whole, real human beings, living their separate lives, before an incident with a teleportation device put one into the other’s body. Those are the dominant personalities. There are also two “shadows,” as they’re called. One was created on purpose by the villain. One was created by accident, and the accidental one is the one that’s the closest to DID. But if someone were to only read book 1, it would appear to be wholly DID (& the reader would only know about FMC & MMC in her body), though the term is never used.

And, yes, nothing, not even the bromance, has been as fun to write, edit, soundtrack, & reread as the superhero trilogy.
 

lilysheaven

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Wow, lily, you’ve heavily edited that novel multiple times. I’m really impressed. I’m not sure I have that dedication.
☺️ d'awww I actually have no idea why I'm still going. Usually, I am not this persistent or dedicated. I have so many other abandoned projects that I've never even given a second chance to but for some reason, this project won't leave me alone.

It’s not really DID because there were two whole, real human beings, living their separate lives, before an incident with a teleportation device put one into the other’s body.
This sounds so cool and so original!! I absolutely love this idea. How did you come up with it?

In other news, I decided to go ahead and edit out the part that my characters were unhappy with. Turns out, a lot of it isn't necessary in any case so best to get it out of the way now so that future editing me has an easier time. That means I cut about 15k words (some will be reused!) and now I have to make sure I don't let MMC slip out of character again. Whoospie. :Shrug:
 

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☺️ d'awww I actually have no idea why I'm still going. Usually, I am not this persistent or dedicated. I have so many other abandoned projects that I've never even given a second chance to but for some reason, this project won't leave me alone.
This is probably what I need to do for aPB1, but I love so much of it that it’s hard to start over.
This sounds so cool and so original!! I absolutely love this idea. How did you come up with it?
Everyone’s going to be surprised that I was inspired by a song, right? Actually two songs came together for this one. The first was Christina Aguilera’s “Keeps Gettin’ Better,” had me thinking about a superhero who had “multiple personalities” (before I knew much about DID). What if she shared a body with the villain? What if she were a shapeshifter, and the two of them didn’t know they shared a body because he looked like someone else? Also, the dueting of “My Eyes” from Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog inspired much of their romantic obsession with each other and laid some groundwork for MMC.

That was the initial 2 people/1 body inspiration. The others came out of a (long) short story I wrote for the characters, where (because they switched back & forth in the short with no time jumps, but that wasn’t true in book 1) I realized that there had to be at least 1 other villain in there moving them around like pawns so they wouldn’t guess they shared a body until late in the game. And shadow #2 came out of me trying to decide who was that secret villain, and would’ve been the biggest plot twist really, but I couldn’t convince myself to do it. The part that led me to think of that character as a possible secret villain did lead to them becoming shadow#2.

The shadows are usually why I decide to reread the books. They’re the heartbreakers.

In other news, I decided to go ahead and edit out the part that my characters were unhappy with. Turns out, a lot of it isn't necessary in any case so best to get it out of the way now so that future editing me has an easier time. That means I cut about 15k words (some will be reused!) and now I have to make sure I don't let MMC slip out of character again. Whoospie. :Shrug:
Again, color me impressed! A simple solution to the problem, but so hard to cut that much :oops:
 

lilysheaven

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This is probably what I need to do for aPB1, but I love so much of it that it’s hard to start over.
I get this but I think it's what actually drives me forward. I loved experiencing it the first time that the second time was just as nice if not better.

Everyone’s going to be surprised that I was inspired by a song, right?
Oh yes, totally :yessmiley But in all seriousness, that is really cool! I often get inspired by songs too, but also real events in life. I don't think I've ever taken a song inspiration all the way to finished novel though.

Again, color me impressed! A simple solution to the problem, but so hard to cut that much
You are too kind! But I actually love killing my darlings. If it's not working for the story is causes me more stress therefore they must go! I'd rather replace the words with something more meaningful that adds value and makes the story better than keep something that I love but contextually doesn't fit.

How many bridges did I have to burn to get here though? Hmm. Maybe the question should rather be: how many manuscripts have I burnt? 😅
 
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I'd rather replace the words with something more meaningful that adds value and makes the story better than keep something that I love but contextually doesn't fit.
That’s awesome. I get into my head that things I’ve written before are better than things I’m writing at the moment, so I find it hard to outright replace stuff. Just 2 days ago, I had to force myself to go back and change things before the part I was trying to add because I realized it would go smoother if I didn’t cling to what was written before and fine, but keeping me from moving ahead. I can, as evidenced by my editing last night, recognize when what I wrote before is utter shite, but usually if it’s halfway decent, I have trouble convincing myself that anything I might replace it with could be as good.

If I don’t get inspired for something new after SSLS edits are done, perhaps I’ll try a more serious attempt as rewriting aPB1. It should be a joy (but not cousin Joy, who is the main secondary character) because I love those characters so much. I just have to give in on letting things I wrote before go. *Elsas her way through the book ❄️ 🎶 *
 

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Speaking of letting go of things, I decided on Hale’s opening theme song! It was in the short list for awhile and has always been on the soundtrack elsewhere, but today I was listening to it and thinking about how some lines apply to him & I got teary, so it wins :greenie

There’s a couple of places where there are two songs vying for the same scene/character development, but for the most part I’m satisfied with the playlist’s coverage of the novel, which is a good indication that I’ve gotten a lot of the novel’s problems settled too.
 
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lilysheaven

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I can, as evidenced by my editing last night, recognize when what I wrote before is utter shite, but usually if it’s halfway decent, I have trouble convincing myself that anything I might replace it with could be as good.
I like to look at it more in the lines of prose-wise it doesn't matter (yet). If I wrote the prettiest prose of my life but contextually it doesn't serve the story, then it needs to go. Just because I'm letting it go doesn't mean it was ever bad to begin with, it just wasn't right for this story/scene/chapter/character/[insert whatever is relevant].

I'd rather have something written halfway decent and fitting the story (with the idea to edit it into beauty later) than keep something that seems flawless to me but only harms the story.

But I know most (if not all) writers struggle with this. I used to as well but now I enjoy getting rid of things because it only makes the story better. Not really sure how I managed to get here lol

In other news. My characters are now obeying but I have also slowed down what I'm writing in order to give more thought to each character, their personality, and what they're adding to the scene/story. I find this helps prevent them from acting OOC as opposed to just writing and getting words on the page to edit later. I love editing, but I'd like to make my editing life as comfortable and easy as it can get lol

perhaps I’ll try a more serious attempt as rewriting aPB1. It should be a joy (but not cousin Joy, who is the main secondary character) because I love those characters so much.
I'm rooting for you!
 
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lilysheaven

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Luna is not a helpful cat when it comes to writing.

That is all.
What does she do?

Oreo (my cat) insists on walking over my laptop whenever he tries to get on my other side, and when he's not doing that he's sitting on my laptop.

Oreo is not a lap cat.
 
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I like to look at it more in the lines of prose-wise it doesn't matter (yet). If I wrote the prettiest prose of my life but contextually it doesn't serve the story, then it needs to go. Just because I'm letting it go doesn't mean it was ever bad to begin with, it just wasn't right for this story/scene/chapter/character/[insert whatever is relevant].

I'd rather have something written halfway decent and fitting the story (with the idea to edit it into beauty later) than keep something that seems flawless to me but only harms the story.

But I know most (if not all) writers struggle with this. I used to as well but now I enjoy getting rid of things because it only makes the story better. Not really sure how I managed to get here lol
If I was brave, I would take a whole new approach to this book, going into it knowing what I know now about where I want the story to go and avoiding anything that resembled the inspiration movie (except probably the scene where the boys meet the girls and lead their (girls') commander on a wild goose chase so the girls could escape, which I think I could get away with if it was the only similarity).

I have zero confidence in my ability to write prose. I might love my characters and plot and dialogue, especially if it's banter, but I have no confidence in writing something well. I have less confidence in producing something new that reads well, and of being able to improve upon it in editing. But for some reason, I really like the writing in much of this book, especially anything that takes place before they get to the main planet.

Anyway, I'm constantly reevaluating what needs to change in this book. I think that I would probably remove the (guys') commander from the equation if I were to write it from scratch. But now because I put him in there, I can't figure out what I would do later without him. Some of the plot problems I had originally were fixed by the fact that he was in there.

What's interesting is that I changed and added and removed so much from Taylor-Made at an editor's request. And there was so much of "Well, how the hell am I supposed to make this work if I remove that?" in it, but I made it work! And (except for something she had me add at the beginning that I still dislike), the book is much improved from the revisions. I know I can do it. I just don't see it now. It's sort of the same problem I have with aPB. I know what needs to happen, but I just don't see how to make it happen as I have written the book already.

Anyway, that's not to say that I won't rewrite sections of the book, even when I love it. I've rewritten the beginning of this book twice already.

Right now I'm working on changing my secondary POV into first present. It's going very well. There have been times when I'd start a book in one tense and decide to change it, or more often, do so with a short story. Every time I've done this in the past, it's felt awkward. I think there's a thing where my eyes can see the old POV/tense up ahead and can't be comfortable with the new POV/tense yet. This change, however, feels so natural. Most of my "recent" first person present POVs have been a dichotomy between the pessimistic snarky character and the optimistic jokey character. Hale has a little of the pessimistic snark (not as extreme as others), but by doing this other POV for Oona, even when I switch it over, she's just a totally different voice from my usual FPP characters. But FPP is so comfortable for me now, that I think it feels very natural, even when I'm used to her being third-past.


What does she do?

Oreo (my cat) insists on walking over my laptop whenever he tries to get on my other side, and when he's not doing that he's sitting on my laptop.

Oreo is not a lap cat.
Luna is a huge lap cat. We have come to a sort of truce about the laptop, where either she or it ends up sort of on the side of my lap and the other gets the majority of my lap. This works best on the recliner/couch, where there's an arm for the laptop/cat to rest on. Usually, if she's on the arm, she's also stretched across my arm, which is fine as long as I put on my wrist protection to make sure I don't screw it up with a weird angle at the keyboard.

But today she is incredibly needy, so she's on my lap throwing herself at my chest in an attempt to get my hands off the keyboard and smooching her.

I have bad news for her, though. It's time for me to go to personal training, so she's going to have to live without my lap for a couple hours 😿
 

lilysheaven

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and avoiding anything that resembled the inspiration movie (except probably the scene where the boys meet the girls and lead their (girls') commander on a wild goose chase so the girls could escape, which I think I could get away with if it was the only similarity).
I think I have a similar problem with my time-traveling MS. It resembles the book that it was inspired by a lot. But I think I've gotten enough distance between myself and it to be able to get rid of the similarities.

I know what needs to happen, but I just don't see how to make it happen as I have written the book already.
It can get overwhelming. I actually prefer the editing/revisions stages (which I've probably mentioned before) because it gives me a false sense of control. I write up an outline (or synopsis) of the entire first draft so that I get more of a bird's eye view of all the scenes and how they fit together. Then I take out what's not needed, change where I think it could improve, swap scenes around as needed, and once I'm happy with the bird's eye view I go back in and either rewrite (if the chapter is really sloppy or I can't add what's needed in its current form) or revise.

I actually like rewriting because I get to experience the story all over again.

Right now I'm working on changing my secondary POV into first present. It's going very well. There have been times when I'd start a book in one tense and decide to change it, or more often,
I do the same thing! And with POV too. Sometimes I'll start with 3rd POV then change to 1st or vice versa. I never know which would be better until I'm a couple of drafts in. I am sooo bad at tenses but I blame English not being my native language. Either way, I can never decide which tense is better for the story but past is always a safe one for me because I'm well-practiced in it.

How do you end up deciding which tense would be best?

But today she is incredibly needy, so she's on my lap throwing herself at my chest in an attempt to get my hands off the keyboard and smooching her.
Aww so cute. I wish Oreo would sit on my lap, but he's too big. He can't get comfortable on me. Some mornings he does try, while I'm still lying in bed, but it never lasts long.
 
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Violeta

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How do you end up deciding which tense would be best?

I don't know about others, but I go with the one I read the most, almost always.

It´s my favorite, and it comes more naturally to me, so I don't have to struggle to figure out whether or not I'm doing it right. It just flows, because I've already internalized it from reading it so much. Then again, some stories will scream their heads off if you don't write them in the tense/POV they think is best, whether or not you're familiar with it. So, yeah, that's a problem. But if your story isn't asking to be written in anything in particular, go with the flow and choose what's easier for you. :e2cloud9:
 

Sage

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Welcome, Violeta! What kind of YA do you write?

Also, I like the line in your signature!

How do you end up deciding which tense would be best?

For novels, I generally go with first present these days*. In this case, I had done the third past to separate Oona's POV from Hale's, but it was much easier to stick with his than to transfer them both to hers.

For short stories, I'm much more likely to do first-past or third-present, and it really goes by feel of the story, but as I said, sometimes I just slip into something else, and then I have to change it.

*keeping in mind that "these days" is relative and the last first-past or third-past novel I wrote might've been over a decade ago.

I think I have a similar problem with my time-traveling MS. It resembles the book that it was inspired by a lot. But I think I've gotten enough distance between myself and it to be able to get rid of the similarities.
Ooh, now I have a thought on what your inspiration could be. Probably wrong, but a thought.

I have the house to myself tonight and it seems like a good time to start that major revision! I was a little depressed and overwhelmed about it on Sunday, but by yesterday I was starting to get excited.
 

lilysheaven

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but I go with the one I read the most, almost always.

It´s my favorite, and it comes more naturally to me, so I don't have to struggle to figure out whether or not I'm doing it righ
I used to do this (and it was 3rd past) but then I started reading things outside of my 'comfort zone' where authors played around with POVs and tenses. I hated it at first but then after a couple of books I absolutely loved the idea of playing with different POVs in one book.

For instance, the current YA novel I'm working on is not told in chronological order. FMC's POV happens in the past so her tense is 3rd past (because she's 'disappeared' it's supposed to reinforce to the reader that she is no longer present but) and MMC's POV happens in present time and therefore he's is written in first present (though, it was 1st past until I read You by Caroline Kepnes and changed it because I thought it would read better but now I'm not sure anymore lol).

But if your story isn't asking to be written in anything in particular, go with the flow and choose what's easier for you.
This is good advice and probably what I'm going to end up doing. My standard somehow has become 1 POV in 1st (past or present) and the rest in 3rd past. My reasoning? Well, it started out as an exercise to practice both tenses and has somehow morphed into a me-thing because I find it easier to avoid narrative voices bleeding together.

Ooh, now I have a thought on what your inspiration could be. Probably wrong, but a thought.
Hmm not sure if I should reveal which one it is in case I ever ask for a beta on here hehehehe

I have the house to myself tonight and it seems like a good time to start that major revision! I was a little depressed and overwhelmed about it on Sunday, but by yesterday I was starting to get excited.
YAY! Hugs for the depressed part but YAY for everything else! I hope you have so much fun with the revisions.
 
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Violeta

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Welcome, Violeta! What kind of YA do you write?

Also, I like the line in your signature!
Thank you, Sage!! :e2flowers
I'm currently writing a YA Contemporary Romance. It's one of my favorite genres and the one I tend to write the most. :e2cheer:
:e2bounceyOn another note, I'm glad you're feeling better about that revision!! Good luck with it!! :e2headban
 
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Violeta

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I used to do this (and it was 3rd past) but then I started reading things outside of my 'comfort zone' where authors played around with POVs and tenses. I hated it at first but then after a couple of books I absolutely loved the idea of playing with different POVs in one book.

For instance, the current YA novel I'm working on is not told in chronological order. FMC's POV happens in the past so her tense is 3rd past (because she's 'disappeared' it's supposed to reinforce to the reader that she is no longer present but) and MMC's POV happens in present time and therefore he's is written in first present (though, it was 1st past until I read You by Caroline Kepnes and changed it because I thought it would read better but now I'm not sure anymore lol).

Me, too.

When I first encountered something like this in my favorite series, I didn't see the need for the added POVs in different tenses in the middle of a long series. There was no real reason to go from one single MC in 3rd close, past tense, to add the whole cast to the POV roster in the middle of the series in 1st person, present tense. Or viceversa, I forgot already. The MC was one tense, and the cast was another. It added nothing, it distracted a lot, and it disconnected me from the MC because now, she felt too distant in her 3rd close compared to the ones in 1stPOV.:e2faint:

But yeah, when the story calls for it and it's done right, it can be fun to read and to write. :e2file:
 
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