“Save It”

“Save It” is Michael Jackson’s lesser known song about writers and the importance of backing up electronic manuscripts (to be sung to the tune of “Beat It“).

Save It

[1st Verse]
They told us listen up, you reckless writers look here
Don’t wanna see your typeface, word doc disappear
The muse’s in your eyes and your words are really clear
So Save It, Just Save It

[2nd Verse]
You better backup, you better do what you can
Don’t wanna see no blue screen, don’t leave it up to chance
You know your draft’s rough, better save while you can
So Save It, Or you’re gonna be mad!

[Chorus]
Just Save It, Save It, Save It, Save It
Ctrl + S isn’t overrated!
Showin’ how prudent and wise is your mind
It doesn’t matter if your laptop dies

Just Save It, Save It
Just Save It, Save It
Just Save It, Save It
Just Save It, Save It

[3rd Verse]
They’re out to get you, all those storms and pop cans
They wanna fry your laptop, wanna drench your draft
You wanna manuscript, better save while you can
So Save It, Just Save It

[4th Verse]
You have to show them that you’re really prepared
You’re playin’ with your book, this ain’t no fanfic dare
They’ll soak you, then delete you,
Then your battery will wear
So Save It, Or you’re gonna be mad!

[Chorus]
Just Save It, Save It, Save It, Save It
Ctrl + S isn’t overrated!
Showin’ how prudent and wise is your mind
It doesn’t matter if your laptop dies

[Chorus]
Just Save It, Save It, Save It, Save It
Ctrl + S isn’t overrated!
Showin’ how prudent and wise is your mind
It doesn’t matter if your laptop dies
Just Save It, Save It, Save It, Save It, Save It

[Chorus]
Just Save It, Save It, Save It, Save It
Ctrl + S isn’t overrated!
Showin’ how prudent and wise is your mind
It doesn’t matter if your laptop dies

[Chorus]
Just Save It, Save It, Save It, Save It
Ctrl + S isn’t overrated!
Showin’ how prudent and wise is your mind
It doesn’t matter if your laptop dies

[Chorus]
Just Save It, Save It, Save It, Save It
Ctrl + S isn’t overrated!
Showin’ how prudent and wise is your mind
It doesn’t matter if your laptop dies

[Chorus]
Just Save It, Save It, Save It, Save It
Ctrl + S isn’t overrated!
Showin’ how prudent and wise is your mind
It doesn’t matter if your laptop dies
Just Save It, Save It
Save It, Save It, Save It

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Let’s Talk Dialogue (Plus,Tell Me a Tune)

Dialogue. The Big D. The Cheese Burrito. (Don’t ask me why I threw that last one in– just roll with it.)

It’s a fundamental part of fiction: one of the best ways to show rather than tell (i.e., let your characters speak for themselves…literally), a great way to communicate information quickly, and an excellent pace-quickener, among other things. Perhaps more than anything else, it’s natural.

…Or should be.

Although our dialogue will ideally read like speech, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it sounds like writing…and sometimes there are other challenges. Have you ever, for example, had trouble with one of these?

  • Someone talking with food in their mouth
  • A character with an accent, twang, or dialect
  • Getting the pauses/hesitation/stutters right
  • Dialogue interrupted by action
  • Putting the tags in the right places and knowing when to exclude them
  • Punctuation-related grievances

Talk about issues!

What challenges have you encountered with dialogue? And (if applicable) how did you read, teach, or talk yourself out of them?

BONUS QUESTION OF THE DAY, completely unrelated to writing and usual Forum Friday material: can you think of any pop songs that tell a story as the story is happening?

Think “Stan” by Eminem, where you hear letters as they are being written, or “Internet Friends” by Knife Party, where a crazy stalker shows up at her new Facebook friend’s house when they block her (and you actually hear the doorbell, knocking, phone ringing, etc.) Heads up– both songs contain language/contentious material!

Affirmation for the Artist

Since I decided to pursue my dream of being an author, a number of revelations have occurred to me. The one I want to share today is this: that as writers, artists, musicians, and other independents (at least in the vocational sense)– especially unpublished, un-commissioned, and struggling ones– our affirmation comes largely from within; and as such we must either be strong for ourselves or fail.

Paychecks. Publications. Praise. These things are all hard for the struggling artist to come by, especially in the beginning. How is one to go on when nothing– no money, no prestige, at times even no one– exists to validate our work? When we even have negative funds, reproach, and discouragement working against us?

I’d think the answer’s the same no matter where we are in our journey: our affirmation must come first and foremost from within us. We must believe in the work we are doing and the integrity of the effort we’re giving it. We must believe in ourselves at all times– especially when nobody else will.

I think, when one becomes comfortable with this idea– with relieving oneself of the need of the approval of others– it is immensely freeing. Yes, there will still be agents and representatives and business people and business deals and guidelines to be worked with along the way or at the end of Rejection Brick Road, but if you’re happy with who you are and what you’re doing– what else do you really need? You’re your own well, spring, and fountain.

And if you’re gonna be a fountain, you might as well look like this.

ALRIGHT, yes, a paycheck would be nice.

But you get the idea.

3 Words: Mummer, Antiphonic, Valise – Featuring JEDWARD!

Today’s edition 3 Words of the Day is special for two reasons:

  1. Contains Jedward (incidentally, you have been warned)
  2. 3 Words of the Day is going on hiatus during the course of April for National Poetry Month. Make way for the poetry– and be sure to come back and visit, as I’ll be orchestrating interactive poetry activities!

Right, then. Here are your words:

mummer: a person who wears a mask or fantastic costume in traditional masked mime

antiphonic: resembling alternate/response singing by a choir in two parts

valise: a small traveling bag or suitcase

And sentences:

1. Might a mummy be a mummer, or must a mummer be a mime?

2. Jedward are my absolute favorite annoying antiphonic duo. When they’re not finishing one another’s sentences and competing to squeeze in the last word, they’re being told to kindly SHUT UP!!! (See clips below.)

3. Wow. Those sentences (and Jedward) were so offensively awful that I must now pack my valise and pretend I was never here. Three sentences? What three sentences? I have no idea what you’re talking about. LOOK, WHAT’S THAT?

GASP! IT’S JEDWARD! Well, since you’re still here, why not enjoy a complimentary performance? They sing better than they interview. …And dress. …And groom.