IWSG Day & Describing Music

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Wow, can you believe it’s the final IWSG day of 2017? This year really did flew by fast. Oh well, that means we have another year to continue supporting each other. And making new friends on this blog hop. As always, thanks for creating this community goes to ninja extraordinaire Alex Cavanaugh.

And thanks goes to the awesome co-hosts posting today: Julie Flanders, Shannon Lawrence, Fundy Blue, and Heather Gardner!

Interested in joining us? Click on the badge above. Our Twitter hashtag and handle are #IWSG and @TheIWSG.

So what’s going on with me this month?

Well I’ve finished NaNoWriMo and at 30,064 words, albeit two days after it ended. Adding on the words written on December 1st makes it  words. But during last month’s challenge I hit a bit of a bump and I’m hoping you can help me clear and smoothen it out.

How do you describe music?

There’s a lot of music featured in my NaNo novel as the hero and heroine share a great love of music. Especially Caribbean music. For example, Dancehall, Reggae, Reggaeton, Soca, etc.

Tried asking my husband how he’d describe the music. And all he gave me was two words: raunchy and happy.

While writing my NaNo novel I included the name of the artist. As well as the song my characters were listening or dancing to. Even included some of the lyrics. (Would that be a copyright problem?) But want to do more, use actual descriptions.

Ever described music in your writing? How? Have any great verbs, nouns, adjectives for writing about music? Did you take part in NaNoWriMo and won? Or did you set your own goals and won? What’s next after NaNoWriMo?

December 6 Question: As you look back on 2017, with all its successes/failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

What would I do differently? Hhhmmm… Maybe not write in my head so much. Get more of that writing on the page quicker. Promote my writing more. Aside from the blog tour I haven’t promoted my chapbook “Can You Catch My Flow?” as I should.

To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the inner music that words make. Truman Capote


  1. Describing music is hard. Most times I’ve done what you did, list the song and artist, but that’s about it. In Not Broken I attempted to relay Calida’s amusement at watching Malcolm and her son dance and sing along to a rap song. For my WIP, Elaine loves jazz and when she put on a record of Ella Fitzgerald I listened to the song on repeat trying to get down the mood and tone and reflect that in the writing.

    I understand the promotion of your work. it’s something I struggle with as well and hope to keep improving on. Best of luck with all things in 2018!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My daughter has severe hearing loss and we use the closed captioning for everything we watch on TV. Some closed captions (I think it’s the ones called “described”) note all sounds including music. It’s interesting to read the way the captioners try to briefly describe the music. There are a lot of weird terms like “heroic swell.” We usually make fun of the strange ones, but it could help you with some ideas if you’re ever watching a reggae movie!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Music is hard for me. Also poetry. Really anything that’s supposed to have some kind of rhythm to it.

    Regarding song lyrics, I was told by a copyright lawyer that it’s usually okay to use four or five words from a song, but anything more than that and you’ll run into licensing issues.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I do a lot of writing in my head. That’s why I carry around my iPad. i try to capture the thoughts because there are times when the writing in my head freezes up and doesn’t release itself so I can use it. I keeps journals in evernote and they helped me now a lot to not think it out but write it out.
    Wishing you all the best and a successful crossover into 2018.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Pat. I’ve made sure to carry a pen and mini notebook everywhere with me. But now that you mentioned I haven’t used it of late. Will have to remedy that. Happy 2018!


  5. I’d say the beats, distinguished sounds (bell, violin, etc.), the feel of it, rising and falling, that sort of thing. I like this quote from Chuck Wendig’s The Cormorant: “The bass is like a Tyrannosaur stomping through the chambers of her heart: the doom doom doom making her blood jump with every hit, up through her feet, vibrating through her bones, her teeth like a teacup rattling against its saucer—ceramic buzzing against ceramic.” The comparisons and “doom doom doom” convey quite a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Describing art, music included, is often a pointless endeavor. Instead, I would go with how that music made your characters feel. Does it make them sad? Introspective? Exuberant? Do their minds wonder? Do they want to dance? To scream? To weep? What thoughts the music inspires?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi, Lidy! That’s a tough question to answer. I love music Whenever I hear Caribbean music, I feel the hot sun and the laid-back, go-with-the-flow soulfulness of it. Often happy and raunchy as your husband described. Perhaps I’d say “earthiness” and definitely “joyful.” Maybe “sunshot bluesiness,” if that makes any sense. Good luck with your writing and description!

    Liked by 1 person

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