Author Advice Pt. 2

Many will say to write alone in complete silence. I would say definitely alone so that you’re not distracted, but complete silence? Try that and then turn on some music that you absolutely love, something well orchestrated like either classical or Epic Metal, or something like that. When you hit a creative wall or can’t choose the correct words, stop for a moment. Flick on a song that has meaning to you, maybe one that has themes similar to what you’re writing (love, loss, happiness, defeat, victory, etc.) let the melody roll over you (try to ignore the lyrics). Listen to the tone of the singer’s voice as well. Feel the emotion… then write.

This is how I am able to write as much as I do. For me, this method of music therapy has worked wonders on improving my writing. Highly recommend trying it.

Try it out, then leave me a comment and let me know if it worked for you.

Catch you on the flip side.
-Jim

Author’s Advice (Part 1)

The best advice I can give to any new authors out there is probably going to surprise everyone:

Completely disregard what your potential audience may want.

Yup, you read that right. I’m giving you permission to be completely selfish with your writing, because it’s just that; YOUR WRITING! The characters you create are yours, the world you set them in are yours, you are God in that world and no one can tell you what to do with it… (Unless they bought the rights and are publishing it for you… then you may have to change a few things, but for the most part, it’s still yours.)

When you write, don’t write for what you think people would like or base what you do with a character on whether or not it’s PC or what is considered ‘right.’ There are no rights and wrongs in writing. You are free to do what you want. This advice came to me when I was watching some of the interviews and documentaries following Lord of the Rings. I don’t remember the man’s name, there was an interview with a man who worked with J.R.R. Tolkien on Lord of the Rings. He mentioned how Tolkien was often dismayed over not really being able to find any stories he liked reading. Finally he decided that if he wanted a good book out there to read, he’d have to write it himself.

I took that comment to heart when I set to write my very first full length novel. A lot of my short stories were well received, but too many of them fell flat. Upon looking back at them, I realized that I had spent too much time trying to anticipate what people would like. I was being a fool. So I turned around and started writing things that I like, things that I would want to see happen in a story and characters that I could attach myself to.

Before I knew it, I had my novel written. I gave it to my toughest critic (my wife) and she loved it. (My wife doesn’t sugar coat things, she tells you if she doesn’t like what you’ve done. I’ve had a few stories axed due to her review). Within a few months it was polished, I had a cover ready, and my work was being submitted… a few weeks later I scratched one of my life-long goals off of my list:

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My cover artists

They say don’t judge a book by it’s cover and that’s good advice… but a good cover helps whet interest and attract an audience. I’ve been fortunate to work with some truly incredible artists who have helped bring my work to life.

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Cover Art by Christina Pankievich
My cousin and a truly wonderful artist. She was nice enough to take care of the first cover for me and I am greatly appreciative.

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Cover art by Helder Olivier

Another great artist. When my cousin was unavailable to do the cover, I put a post out on my facebook page for a graphic designer and he immediately came up. He was a wonderful person to work with, his art is terrific and, as you can tell from this, he has quite the pension for jewelry design. I highly recommend checking out his page!
Helder‘s page

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Cover art by Brett Warniers.

Every artist that I have worked with over time has been an absolute joy. Last and by no means least is the insanely talented Brett. His cover art broke the simplicity mode that I had confined myself up until now, thinking that it was the only way to attract attention… I was wrong and he showed me that.
He came recommended by a close friend and after seeing his other work, I could not refuse his talents. His work really speaks for itself and he has accepted the monumental task of creating the cover for the biggest work I’ve ever put out: Divinity. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with.

Brett’s Page

Tina is unfortunately (or VERY fortunately depending on which side you are on) very busy with other projects and doesn’t have a page anymore. However Brett and Helder are accessible through their pages and their art work is well worth the money! You will not be disappointed.

From My Writing Playlist #Writing #Author #Advice

 

 

First of all… I really fucking hate this movie. The fast-paced editing gave me an absolute headache, there were limited original songs, the story was akin to a Disney princess tale mix with the Bohemian Rhapsody, and just… ugh. Nothing but the scenery was worth watching… until the finale. This song, one of the few originals was actually well done. I can’t find the original version where the owner sings the final refrain… the better version, but oh well.

When to listen: Duh… ITS A LOVE SONG! Play it at the conclusion of any love story plot line, even if that’s not the end of the book. Let the romance go out with a bang!

 



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

From My Writing Playlist #Writing #Author #Advice

 

Another one of Edguy’s best. They’re technically a metal band, but I wonder if they would be more appropriately labeled as a ballad or showtune metal band? Honestly I’m not sure.

When to Listen: I have a very specific view of this song. This is a reflection song. What do I mean by that? Place yourself in the scene where you two main characters, your breeding pair if you have one, either meet for the first time, or have a successful first date. It’s a time when they realize that somethings there. So let’s go through a specific set of lyrics: (Starting at 3:12)
One of your characters is walking into her building after the encounter. In fact, have him/her sing the parts… (Yeah I’ve been dying to use the Edguy songs in a Rock Opera).
9-2-9 A number at Sundown
(She leans against the door of her apartment after closing it. )
A Room with a view
(She walks over to her balcony, throws the door open, leans against the railing as she looks out a the city…)
9-2-9
(…and throws her arms up.)
A night to remember!
9-2-9 I’ve been reaching out
(She leans back with a content smile.)
I’m finally home. 



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

From My Writing Playlist #Writing #Author #Advice

But Jim, you HATE country!

Modern country. I hate modern country. I grew up with this one! RIP John Denver.

 

 

When to Listen: It’s a folk song, so really general playlist, but this is really an opener song for me. Like when you’re describing the landscape before whatever the adversary is damages it.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

From My Writing Playlist #Writing #Author #Advice

 

 

 

I’m sorry, I miss the 80s. Growing up in the late 80s and watching the slow decline into the early 90s was really amongst the greatest time to be a kid. Nintendo NES was everywhere, Sega Masters was where it wasn’t. Free range parenting was a thing, the internet was barely a dream in the eyes of computer engineers, people actually went out and talked to others, MTV still actually had dealt in music instead of racist undertones, and THIS was the type of stuff you heard of the radio. The fall of music with the Boy Band Wars wasn’t even seen coming yet.

When to Listen: Whirlwind love scenes. This song works so perfectly for them, but I’d recommend putting it on your general playlist as well. Its an upbeat song, a style of which we don’t see anymore… heck EVEN TIFFANY doesn’t sound like this anymore. She’s lost her hair metal growl. So sit back, close your eyes, and picture torn jeans, studded leather, big hair, and incredibly cheesy rotoscoped cartoons!
… God I miss those days!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

From My Writing Playlist #Writing #Author #Advice

 

 

Yeah it should be no surprise to anyone when I add this song to the list. Written for Lord of the Rings, this is perhaps the best rendition of it that I’ve ever heard. Peter Hollens is an amazing vocalist who knows how to respect the material he’s working with.

When to Listen: … … well to be honest, I’m not really sure. I used it when one of my characters made a fateful decision; SPOILER ALERT!!! When Adalyn used the last drop of her angelic powers to set off fireworks at the end of Divinity, thus completing her transformation from an angel into a human and when Toby revealed to Lia’na that he’d used the last of his powers and magic was then and forever gone from the world.

So I guess use this if and when writing a story about the end of the mystical/fantastic and beginning of the modern time when such things were no longer relevant?



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

From My Writing Playlist #Writing #Author #Advice

 

So I’m going to do something different today… It has recently been brought to my attention that a new Amaranthe album came out. So far I’ve only listened to part of it, but from what I’ve listened to, it’s pretty good.
I’ve added the entire CD to my playlist, so I’m passing it around for your enjoyment.

 

When to Listen: Honestly these be fightin words. Any major battle would suit most of these songs.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

From My Writing Playlist

Had enough of Edguy yet? Too bad.

Well today I’m going to introduce everyone to another band. This album ‘The Unforgiving’ is a major departure from their old style, but remains today… in my opinion, the best album they ever put out. Nearly every song on it is incredibly bad ass and really memorable. Faster is one of the album covers and it does not disappoint.

When to Listen: Burnout.  This song is pure energy and will help you get back to writing. I’d also say that its a good struggle song for your main character as they deal with the changes to their life that make up your story.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim