I have enjoyed writing for as long as I can remember. My teachers often commended me and I gained top marks for my writing.
When I turned 16 (I’m now 49) I joined a rock band and soon began writing music for the band. We played classic rock music. By the age of 22 I left the band to focus on a nursing career. I still wrote rock music as I recorded at home for myself. I am a multi-instrumentalist. I also now had the time to write poetry, begin a blog and started making notes for a novel. Each format requires a different approach to writing.
- Rock Music
I found writing rock music rather easy. It generally has a set format. Verse-chorus-verse-chorus-instrumental break-verse-chorus-chorus. Sometimes the last verse can be the same as the first.
The nature of rock music allows for rather superficial lyrics. Not a lot of thought is required but a catchy chorus helps. Lyrics in rock music tend to take second place behind the music of the band and the effects added in the studio after recording.
Poetry has always come easy to me. Irrespective of the length of a poem or whether it rhymes or not, I generally write a poem in ten minutes. If it takes more than that or I have to stop and think about it then the spontaneity is gone and poetry, to me, is the most spontaneous form of literature.
If one has to think about a poem or plan it, it becomes contrived and this is obvious to the seasoned poetry reader.
If you aren’t at your keyboard and have a poem spring to mind, remember where you were when you had the inspiration. It works.
Novels are a whole different thing. The trick with writing is to relax your way through it. There’s no rush. You have plenty of time to proof read it.
When I’m writing a novel I begin by writing what I call a ‘skeleton.’ This is the bare bones of the story and is probably the hardest part to do. I do it in point form, ensuring that things run in chronological order. As a character appears I give a full description of them.
After completing the skeleton, I begin from the start and begin writing the novel proper, expanding on each point as I go. If you get the skeleton right then writing the novel itself should be a stimulating experience.
I then go back and check the skeleton and compare it with the novel proper as I go.
It’s a long process and you can find yourself changing the skeleton at odd hours….but what’s the hurry?