Saturday, 20 July 2013

New Writing- Writing exercise.

I've felt eerily aware that I haven't written recently. It has irritated me and for a while I questioned whether the writing thing was a one trick pony. So I did a writing exercise to help me start to get back on track. This isn't part of anything bigger, just a quick doodle...

Sometimes the shuddering echo of the door slamming, as I flee from the house one balmy summer night, is all I have. A solitary cry out in the dark. The scratching of long grass against my calves and the wheeze of a non-existent breeze are as familiar to me as my own skin. When my hurried walk turned into a flat out sprint, I scarcely noticed. Failed to appreciate the way my subconscious had made a decision that the rest of me had denied for so long. I just ran. I just did...


Sometimes I like to brush anything uncomfortable off; avoid truths I don't want to hear or can't understand.  Emotional catharsis has never been my thing. I don't want to cry for all I've lost. I don't want to face it was ever mine to lose. Better to repress all those messy emotions and deal with what has to be done, right? Better to keep the choice in your hands, right?




I can't ignore this...


Living here now is different. Surreal, I suppose. I changed my name on the day I arrived into the smoky city. The pavements were slick with sweat and the Tarmac of the road seemed to bubble like the concrete was lava. God it was hot that day. When I stopped to ask a potential local for directions, I realised quickly how far from home I really was. Used to ever friendly neighbours and an abundance of time, I was mortified to be ignored and brushed past rudely. Lesson number one- don't expect people to care anymore. That was then; this is now.


So I  made myself new; forged a new me out of tears and bone. Shakespeare asked the question 'what's in a name?' I could tell him the answer straight. Everything is in a name. That's why we cling to them. The frail and unrelenting reminder that someone has claimed us.


Slipping out of my old self was hard. For a while whenever I heard someone else mention it, I would automatically turn around to answer. When people asked for my name, a small portion of my mind wanted to divulge the real name, to tell them my story. But she's a liar, the old me. Don't go listening to her...


Holly. That's my name now. Plain. Safe. Dull. I'm the girl that blends in. My long blonde hair scooped back into a low ponytail, my tall frame swamped in baggy clothes, my eyes hidden behind darkened glasses. You'd look through me sooner than notice me. And that's what I want. That's what I need.


One day they will come for me. They will know what I did and they will come to collect me.


But they will never know why. And I will never tell them. Only you...

Monday, 8 July 2013

Learning to write songs

There are some lyrics from songs which stay with you forever. Sometimes I think I'm haunted by lyrics. They follow me around all day until I finally give in and sing along. My favourite lyricists are the ones who make me feel the words. They're the ones you can imagine furiously scribbling away in their notepads as they go through the day. The ones woken in the middle of the night desperate to jot down lines they dreamt. One of my earliest memories of lyrics comes from being 10 years old, sitting in my bedroom with the cd cover to the spice girl's first album desperately learning the words to each and every song. Thankfully as I've gotten older , my music taste has improved.

Now when I listen to my favourite songs, to the Verve, the Smiths, Oasis, Stereophonics, Feeder, Florence and the machine, I tie all the beauty in their lines to moments in my life. So when I decided I wanted to write songs as part of my novel 'Echoes of Glory' I naturally assumed it would come fairly naturally to me. How wrong was I? Oliver needed to be a musical character. I knew this the moment the idea of him was thrown around in a conversation with a friend. Though I was only through writing Siren Call, I really felt the connection to him as a character. I'd managed a couple of lines for the chapter. So no big deal! 

But it is so much harder than that! It's a fine balance-lyricism. Not wanting to write something cliche, or something too odd. Wanting to convey emotion, without sentimentality. Then there's trying to sound simplistic/effortless, yet at the same time, sounding intelligent. 

I'm going to show you guys some lyrics. They are nothing like the qualities I listed above, but I'm still working on it.

So this was my first attempt at a more sinister song from Oliver. It would accompany part two of siren call i suppose. It needs work, but throwing it out there so you guys know I'm not slacking too much with writing. This is as yet untitled.

Creeping under your skin now,
My fingertips linger.
Your body's flushed and numb,
I'm your siren, your singer.

But if the night gets cold,
And my lies get old,
You'll sit in the dark heat
And feel it take over.

You say you want to be saved,
But you've built your own grave.
And as the waves roll in closer,
You lay there in silence.

There is more but still uncertain...

Need advice and feedback please!