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Get Your Writing Groove On

Good music, the kind that thumps along so hard that you can’t help but start dancing, whirls out from a core of rhythm and repetition. Once a good song gets under your skin, it doesn’t leave you. You sing along; you move your feet; you smile and settle in for the ride. Developing any skill, writing being no exception, is like letting a good groove get into your soul and dancing along.

Music of the funky variety—ah, my favorite kind–moves forward on a pulse, built on a foundation of icy kick and snare and driven by a cooking bass line. Everything else stacks on top, all parts locking into the picture to create symbiotic, musically speaking, unity. Songs have beginnings, middles, and ends, with choruses, bridges, and verses to amp up the intrigue and forward motion of the experience.

Writing, whether it’s a short story or a novel, should feel like slipping into a groove. Instead of drums, you lay down a killer beat sheet that offers a roadmap of where you intend to go. Instead of a bass line, you use an engaging, multi-dimensional protagonist to drive the funk. Multiple characters make up other parts of the music. Instead of a shredding guitar, you use a antagonist to block your protagonist at every juncture. Other, lighter weight characters pop in and out as needed, the tambourine, the guitar solo, the keyboard pad.

Once you have assembled all of the parts, you can buckle up for the ride and drive the beat forward by setting a writing schedule and applying a little elbow grease. At 1,000 words a day, with all musicians coming to the table, fully prepared with precision instruments and killer chops, you can knock out a novel 1st draft in just short of 90 days.

Think about it, if you prepare and bring everyone to the jam session ready to play all you have to do is dance. At the end of 3 months, you can stack all 360 pages of your new novel on your desk, snap your fingers and say, “Dude, that song rocked. Let’s get together and jam again, man.”

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