Swept Away with Music and Prose

After reading Outlander, I've fallen whole hog into the fandom so I'm reading blogs, forums, websites and all sorts of goodies with other readers. I love reading different insights and talks about the series. Going into the second book right away, I've been distracted by the whole world encompassing Jamie and Claire. Gabaldon is a great storyteller and writer. I can see why so many have been swept away by their story. Some call this a romance but in an interview Gabaldon said that romances usually center around a separate couple each book. She wanted to write one couple/family and follow their life through a series of books. I love that. I don't usually read family sagas but I've been looking for a series like this which is romantic, sweeping with great prose. I know I'm going to have a doozy finding another book/series like it after I finish!

For all those aspiring writers I suggest you pick up the Outlander series and check it out. It's a bit longish, especially the later books which read the thousand page range (yes, you read that right) but the story and the prose are well worth it.

I often tell aspiring writers the best way to learn to write is to read as much as you can. Not only in your genre of choice but across the spectrum. You'll see what tropes interest you and in turn interest others and your writing will get better as you see the various ways of writing styles, plotting and characterization. It helps to grab some How To books on writing novels in addition. Diana Gabaldon of the Outlander series has a page on her site called Writers Corner for aspiring authors and also some Podcasts to check out where she talks about her writing techniques. Very invaluable stuff indeed. I'll be updating my Writer's Resources page with a link to her resources later on.

The series has got me interested in checking out more of the Scottish culture and I'm glad I'm still working on the early part of the Ashen Twilight series so I can apply what I've learned in the story.

In addition to that, I've been working on some side projects. A website here and there and other things. My renewed addiction is SomaFM's Groove Salad which I highly recommend for all you ambient/electronica fans out there. I found some great music groups and songs on there. Angel Tears being one. I bought The Dreaming sometime ago and only listened for their Ishka song while writing Cimmerian City. One day last week I listened to the whole CD and was hooked! I love this group! The whole CD can be played on repeat for work, relaxation, anything.

Youtube has one vid that someone made with The Dreaming from the CD of the same name. Check it out.

Also saw this over at SBTB and couldn't help passing it on. I love the theme, lyrics and premise of this video. I checked out some of Freshly Ground's other songs and really love their sound. They kind of remind me of Brand New Heavies in a way only with a South African flair. While BNH was stylistically british through and through, both groups seem to exude that sense of free spirit through their music with lyrics that you can identify with and lose yourself in so easily. I'll definitely keep my eye on them for the future!