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Author Topic: Other-Medium Influences
Steve 46th
Member # 10113

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My 17 year old son was watching an Eminem compilation video on YouTube this morning while he was getting ready for school.

He happened to notice I paused my morning activities long enough to watch a portion of it.

His knowing me as someone who really isn't into rap, he admitted he was surprised to see me checking it out.

I was pleased he understood my reasoning.

As a writer, I find myself drawn towards how other artists (regardless of their medium or genre) perform their craft. And, it's not out of a sense of obligation to my craft, but because I am a creature of curiosity (which I have noticed is a characteristic that has increased in me over the years because of my craft). The time I invest in checking out someone else's paintings or photographs or songs or videos---and, of course, writings---has led me to uncover and tap into some fantastic and otherwise unknown veins of creativity within me, which almost always leads to some new project I want to undertake (and not necessarily a writing project).

I'm curious to know from what other artistic forms my fellow Hatrackers have drawn ideas and/or influence they funnel into their writing exploits. Share with the rest of the class, per favore.


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Member # 1818

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Well, indirectly and/or subconsciously, probably a little bit of everything. Music, sure (most notably 90s industrial music). Movies, almost certainly. Theater, yes.

Specific influences I can name:

Directing plays (and writing a couple scripts) has taught me how to write dialogue, and has also helped me understand how to show character emotions.

My current WIP is basically a love song to comic books (if you count comics as a different medium).

One of my stories is basically what I think an album my band recorded is the soundtrack to. Album was recorded first, then I wrote the story.

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Member # 8501

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Movies and music. Movies, since they give me lots of ideas on settings and character interactions and music, because it helps me to set an emotional tone.

When I write, I generally have a shuffled playlist of soundtracks. Occasionally, I have just the right track playing when I'm writing a scene and it does help me to bring out the emotional aspect that is usually missing from my writing. I wrote a fantasy action-adventure novel that was set in a Japanese-ish culture and listened exclusively to soundtracks from Chinese and Japanese movies while I wrote.

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Member # 8019

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My arts include pottery, woodworking, bookmaking, typography, photography, printmaking, graphic design, and any art related to writing, including rhetoric and grammar.

I study poetry, film and stage scriptwriting and music lyrics, too. I'm also a fine art appreciator.

At a community gallery art show not so long ago, five participant galleries, one artwork caught my attention. Not for the popularity and best in show winner award, but for its shortcomings. I do, though, agree the artwork was the best in the gallery's show.

The item is an artist-surrogate vanity shrine more than a work of art. The main shortcoming, though physically a three-dimensional work, it is a one-dimensional portrait and "story." It lacks for any motif not self-idealized and self-efficacious. It could have been more artful if it expressed other dimensions of personality, secret wickedness, for example. Any motif along an axis away from false selflessness toward true selfishness, away from superficial nobleness toward genuine wickedness. Overall, though, without a strong and clear signal of such, the shrine was itself an underrealized display of vanity. I was amused by the unintended irony. The artist was not appreciative of my observations.

[ March 27, 2014, 11:21 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Member # 9148

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I think you can learn about your craft by watching others do well in theirs. There are some things that are the same in whatever craft it is: hard work, being teachable, stretching yourself. But I'm sure there are others.
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Member # 10220

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I'm a freak when it comes to fantasy fiction novels. I've read millions of them in my lifetime mostly at school. That's partly where my creativity leaks to the pages. The other part is movies, music, and everyday life. You'd be surprised at what you can come up with just by watching other people go about their daily lives. Of course, when you have a mindset like mine, any little thing could remind you of a movie, song, book, etc that turns out to be the perfect material for a short story or book. I'm actually also in the middle of making a short story compilation [Big Grin] alongside my novel.
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