Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Guest Author Donna Galanti: How to Stay Inspired and Keep Writing
We're on a roll this week with guest authors, and I'd like to welcome Donna Galanti to the blog today. She fits in well with my ongoing "how to be more productive" series, and she's here to shares tips on how to stay inspired and keep writing.
Donna is the author of the dark novel A Human Element (Echelon Press). Donna has a B.A. in English and a background in marketing. She is a member of International Thriller Writers, The Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group and Pennwriters. She lives with her family in an old farmhouse in PA with lots of nooks, fireplaces, and stinkbugs. Visit her at: www.donnagalanti.com.
Take it away Donna...
I broke through what stopped me from writing
I started my suspense novel fifteen years ago, wrote twelve pages and shelved it for more than a decade. I got bogged down in writing it and writing it well. Don’t write it well…at least the first time. I got so hung up in going back and editing the bit I just wrote that I couldn’t move forward. Keep moving forward. Put those words on paper. Do not stop when you pass go. Just GO. Until you pass THE END. Then go back and edit like crazy…again and again and again.
Frequent iStock Photo to purchase character photos
I find photos of my characters. iStock is great for this and fairly inexpensive, and you get some credits free just for signing up. Also, in finding one model I like I also found an entire portfolio of him in different poses and dress which helped me with different scenes in the story. I look at my character photos for inspiration in writing scenes and imagine their mannerisms. I use these in my blog posts too. For your own personal use you can locate any photos on the Internet for free.
Create theme songs for my characters and scenes
I search for theme songs for my characters. To feel close to them before writing I listen to the songs in the car and right before I sit down to write. And then I shut it off. But I hear the song in my head and it fuels the moment I’m in. I feel the character and their situation from the music and it drives me with passion to write.
My husband doesn’t like it. Why? Because I fell in love with Country a few years ago. (Gag, he says). But where else can you find fitting angst to inspire words on the page but from Country songs? Country has it all…lost love, out of work blues, hard times, no-good family and lots of drinking. Need inspiration? Check out the Top 100 Country Songs of All Time. Or check out Pandora’s Box to find music that fits your mood for your writing and build a soundtrack. I’m starting a new novel now and I can’t even listen to the music from my last novel. It confuses me about how I feel for my new characters.
I admit. I often sneak away to be with my fake people rather my real people and take their photos and songs with me. I think it must be the closest thing to being a child again with that imaginary friend. It’s so wonderful to sink into that again. I had an imaginary dog as a child (figures mine wouldn’t be a person I could actually talk to).
Write from grief
I was also inspired to write from grief. I started novel writing right after my mother died. I needed something to focus on to get through the days. It healed me. It comforted me. It made me feel like I was doing something for my mom.
One author I know who wrote from grief is Ann Hood. She lost her will to read and write after her 5 year old daughter died suddenly from virulent strep. She eventually took up knitting to comfort her. From her healing grew the tale The Knitting Circle about a woman who loses her 5 year old daughter to meningitis and how knitting comforted her during a time of terrible anguish.
It’s hard to think wonderful things can come from grief. I know. And there are many things we can grieve over–death, divorce, physical problems, loss of job, loss of friendship. Are you grieving in some way and can use that to create something positive from in your writing?
Just go for a walk
And finally, when stuck–go for a walk. It never fails. When I get stuck on a scene I go for a walk and figure it out. I then sprint back home to get it all down. I think the power of removing yourself from all distraction helps our brain work out solutions. I was thrilled to read in Stephen’s Kings book ‘On Writing’ that he does the same thing (a good kind of Stephen King thrill).
How are you inspired to write?
About A Human Element
One by one, Laura Armstrong’s friends and adoptive family members are being murdered, and despite her unique healing powers, she can do nothing to stop it. The savage killer haunts her dreams, tormenting her with the promise that she is next.
Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to the site of a crashed meteorite–her hometown. There, she meets Ben Fieldstone, who seeks answers about his parents’ death the night the meteorite struck. In a race to stop a mad man, they unravel a frightening secret that binds them together. But the killer’s desire to destroy Laura face-to-face leads to a showdown that puts Laura and Ben’s emotional relationship and Laura’s pure spirit to the test.
With the killer closing in, Laura discovers her destiny is linked to his and she has two choices–redeem him or kill him.
Readers who devour paranormal books with a smidge of horror and steam will enjoy A HUMAN ELEMENT, the new novel about loss, redemption, and love.
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