Monday, 3 June 2013

Are You Trying to be the Singer, Songwriter and Producer?

When I was little, I had this idea that singers always wrote their own songs. I thought it was incredible that one person could write, sing, arrange and produce a song or a whole album. 

Of course, I grew up and learned that was not how it worked.

It takes a whole team of people, normally, to write hit songs–or any song, for that matter. You have the artist, the songwriters, the musicians, the producers, etc.

When people collaborate, great creative product is produced.

As an introvert, I say that cautiously. I like owning my own work. I like sitting in front of my laptop, writing my own story for hours and hours without interruption. But there always comes a moment, when I've created a problem in my story that I can't solve on my own.

For example, I've been working on a story that is set in more of an ancient Rome setting. I came to a point in my story, where I wanted to collapse a structure. But I wanted it to be the only building that collapsed and I didn't want any kind of natural disaster to have anything to do with it. If my story was set in a modern era, I'd have just had a character blow it up–but that wasn't going to work for this story. 

I happened to be explaining this dilemma to a friend, who isn't a writer but has always been patient with me when I start talking about my projects, and he said, "What if there was an unstable catacomb under this building and it collapsed, causing the building to collapse?"

I had been thinking about this scene for DAYS and here he was, he'd listened to my problem for all of five minutes, and he had a solution!

Needless to say, I have a catacomb in my story now.

Talk to people about your work. Let them read it too. I've always been painfully shy about letting friends read my work–not because I think they'll tell me it's great when it isn't. They won't. But because they'll think it's so ridiculous, they'll never be able to look at me the same again. 

But that's foolish too. 

An author does not have to write, sing, arrange and produce their book all on their own. It's a team effort, but only if you let it be.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic advice, Caitlin! I couldn't agree more. It's hard to put it out there, but the rewards are immeasurable.