ARWA Retreat – Day 2 by Victoria Smith
From Didsbury to Edmonton to Lethbridge and flooded Calgary, ten ARWA members managed to meet this afternoon thanks to modern technology. Skype, we thank you.
There was definitely heated debate and discussion.
We looked at the relationship between music and writing. How does music inspire a scene or motivate the writer? For some writers in the group, their novels have a unique soundtrack that speaks to the conflict, their characters and the feel. For others, music was relevant to the region where the book is set.
Motivation was also deemed important to building the writer’s spirit or motivation. We could almost all point to a particular song that revs us up for writing, often related to our youth.
See some of our favourite music choices at the bottom of this post.
Rules and voice. Oh man, that was a debate. It started out as a question over whether applying the rules of writing can damage your voice. Or, did it in fact enhance your voice? We didn’t actually come to a consensus on that one. On one side, some felt that the right editing tools can polish your voice and strengthen it. On the other, some felt that regardless of editing, voice means that nobody could have written that book but that particular author.
Writing yourself into your characters, good thing or bad? Neither. Donald Mass repeats the age-old wisdom of write what you know, so your character be a part of you. Perhaps they are an idealized version of you, but they can express the emotion that you might feel in that situation. Unless of course your hero is beheading someone, as one pointed out! Fair point. Some ladies felt that they wanted to write characters that were stronger than themselves, but others didn’t mind characters that perhaps weren’t so strong, but were human to the core, hiccups and all.
And finally success. What is success in writing? We agreed that success is different for each and every writer and can depend on their stage as a writer. For a brand new writer, just having someone say they like their story can be euphoric. Perhaps success is financial, perhaps it’s the joy in clearly expressing your character’s point of view or maybe it’s in finally writing that last page.
In the end, we write because it’s our passion. It can be a love/hate relationship, but it’s part of our core and makes us ‘us’. Write on ladies! Here’s some our of members’ favourite music to inspire you:
• Kelly Clarkson – Because of you
• Dirty Dancing – Time of My Life
• Joshua by Dolly Parton
• Sweet Disposition – Temper Trap
• Clocks – Coldplay
• Epic Score – For intense scores from movies. Good for fight, chase or dramatic scenes.