Writing Earfillers–Mozart, Thunderstorms and Fall Out Boy.

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.” ~ Victor Hugo, author.

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What do you like to listen to while concentrating? Can you work on your homework in blissful silence or do you prefer a little ambience while you work? In this post, I will offer some help and handy links if you’re struggling to find the perfect balance between dead silence mosh pit madness.


Every writer writes under different conditions. Some writers like to write anytime and anywhere, often scribbling pages of dialogue on crowded buses into town. Others prefer to sit at their desk at a specific time every day and only cease tapping at the keyboard when they reach 2,000 words. Some writers like to listen to the current pop sensations as they they hack away at their laptops. Others prefer to sit in stony silence as they type their latest masterpiece.

Personally, I do a mixture of all of these. When I’m busy with college, I tend to write at any opportunity I get, spending my free periods cramped up in the library with notebooks and folders spread around me as I scribble a chapter or two. But as it is summer at the moment, I have been trying to write every second of the every day. And, as you can probably guess, it’s not working very well. As a self-proclaimed Queen of Procrastination, the more I tell myself to write this stupid story, the more I try not to. The more Tumblr drags me away into the depths of Fangirland, and the more I want to rewatch episodes of Once Upon A Time for the sixth time. After all, what else are summer holidays for?

In regards to my musical writing conditions, my tastes are… eclectic to say the least. Here are some tips if you’re wondering how to fill your ears while you pour your emotions onto paper. I know that I write better in silence, and can hardly squeeze two words from my pen when the TV is on, although that doesn’t stop me from wasting hours trying. For some people, writing in front of the telly works just fine. If you’re one of those people, you are a rare genius.

I enjoy listening to music that matches the tone or theme of the piece I’m writing. Is my character angry? Fall Out Boy understands. Is my character lovesick? Taylor Swift gets it. But, like with the TV distraction, that doesn’t often work out very well.

Instrumental music is a good compromise. When writing a mystifying and fantastical scene, you could try listening to the beautiful flying music from the 2003 Peter Pan film (which never fails to give me goosebumps). If you’re writing something more dramatic, Mozart or Beethoven is a good choice.

Another of my favourite writing earfillers, are simple background ambient sounds. Although you can find some relaxing ambience on sites like YouTube or Spotify, there are specific websites set up for this specific purpose. Here are some links to my absolute favourites:-

Coffitivity and Rainy Mood really work for me while the others get a little repetitive after a while. If music is too distracting and silence too chiding, these are perfect.

How do you like to fill your ears while focusing? Let me know in the comments.

Which username should my character have?

Here’s a new poll for you guys. So, she’s got her name – now she needs a username. If anyone’s interested, the working title for my book is ‘Fish, Chips and the Internet’.

Thanks, guys!

On Disneyland, Fan-Fiction and the Seven Dwarves.

Something that you will most likely know about me if you know me in real life, is my passion for writing. Writing is my everything. It’s one of my necessities of life. If I go a day without writing, I turn into Grumpy from Snow White & the Seven Dwarves. So if I can help it, that doesn’t happen.

However, for the past three years or so, my writing has revolved almost entirely around one single format: fan-fiction. I love it. You can go anywhere with it. Let’s say, for example, that you’re an emotional wreck, sobbing over the final page of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. If you’re not in denial about at least three deaths then I’m afraid I’m sending you to counselling. (Yes, I know it’s been 7 years. Let me wallow in despair, dammit!) But you can’t handle the fact that those characters never got their happily ever after, so you go back and rewrite it. You resurrect those poor souls who lost their lives in the Second Wizarding War and give them the happy ending that they always deserved.

Or, say, you ship (fangirl terminology) Romione or Hinny. They are you’re world, your OTP (more fangirl terminology), your gods. So you take a piece of paper and a pen, and you build their lives in your own words. You tell their story of passionate romance, heart-thumping excitement and adrenaline-filled adventure. And the best part is, they’re yours to play with. Your favourite character speaks the words you write, does everything you tell them to do. Or maybe you prefer Hermione with Draco (Dramione) and it’s up to you to tell their untold forbidden love story. You can even add characters of your own, building them out of nothing and slotting them into the wonderful fictional world that you fell in love with.

With fan-fiction, you can explore the uncharted lands of Middle Earth, have snowball fights in Narnia and play Quidditch at Hogwarts. And it’s not just books! Take a look at this website. There is fan-fiction for everything: TV shows, films, comic books, video games, professional wrestling – there’s even fan-fiction of the Bible (although that’s generally the weird side of the website – best avoided)!

Some people are strongly against fan-fiction, but they most likely have never tried it themselves. It’s understandable if you’re the author. Your writing is your baby. The characters are your children and the setting is your home. Personally, if an author has expressed a wish for fan-fiction of their baby to stop existing, then I’ll stay away from it. But I don’t see the problem. There are thousands of fan-fiction authors out there, and millions of stories. It is illegal to try to gain money through it, but I’ve never heard of anyone attempting it. Fan-fiction is a hobby, a method of writing practise. What better character practise is there than mimicking an already existing character?

And agents are scouting them out, too. More and more authors are being found through fan-fiction. Everyone has to be inspired by something, and as long as the fan-fiction is changed enough from the original that it is unrecognisable, then I don’t see any problem with it. If anything, I encourage it.

Now, my problem is that I have become so invested in writing stories based on existing stories that original writing has become nothing more than an acquaintance to me. For the past year, people have been telling me that I should be writing a book. have been telling myself that I need to write a book. A proper book. A real, original, all-my-own book. But the moment I set myself up with Microsoft Word all ready on my laptop, an idea pops up. I wonder what life was like after the Battle of Hogwarts? I start writing. So if Angelina dated Fred and married George, what if there was another girl who the other twin liked? My fingers fly over the keyboard, rapidly channelling words that flow from my brain to the virtual paper. How exactly did James and Lily end up together? And before I know it, there’s another first chapter of a new Harry Potter fan-fiction.

A few days ago, I was offered a solution to my problem: motivation. A deal has been made. If I have a book published by the end of next year, I’m going to Disneyland. And would you look at that? No ideas. Blankness. This was almost a week ago and only today have the seeds of an idea begun to form. Scene one of my future novel is complete. From here, it’s onwards and upwards.

Disneyland, I’m on my way.

Feel the Words, Become the Words.

Why is it that when I actually have time to write something, I can never get into it? I’ve got this idea for a story, but I just can’t get the words out in a way that is readable. I’m going back to college next week and I’ve got a 1305830 pieces of homework to do, but I swear to Merlin if I don’t get this done I’m going to go crawl in a hobbit hole somewhere, staring at a blank piece of paper and sobbing uncontrollably.

Planning things is so much easier than writing them up. Gah!

Naming Characters & Children

As an author, one of my favourite things to do when planning a story is to look for good names for my characters. But I’ve created so many characters that I’ve overused all of the good names. Now, if I ever have a daughter, I won’t want to name her because she’ll just be reflected on one of my failed OCs from when I was nine.