An Unexpected Source of Writing Advice

Posted: September 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

When I sit down to work, I invariable have music playing in the background. The noise drowns out other more distracting noises and provides a beat that I find keeps me focused. Pandora is a good tool for this because I can’t stand the commentary on normal radio shows, but sometimes I have a particular song or set of songs that I queue up to set a desired mood either for me or for the bit I’m writing.

One song that has made a frequent appearance on my queues lately is “Starships” by Nicki Minaj. I’m not a particular fan of Minaj, other than a handful of songs and her pleasantly weird persona. However, there’s a line in the chorus of this song that is a surprising reminder that I’ve added to my wall of writing advice: “Starships are meant to fly.”

Taken out of context, I like to think this line is a good reminder that something happening is part of what makes good stories good. For me, “Starships are meant to fly” equals “Make shit happen.” And considering that my chosen genre is science fiction, this line is relevant on more than just a metaphorical level.

The song itself isn’t particularly notable for me (other than that one line), and the official video is, um, enigmatic. But, there is a video by bironic on LiveJournal that is just about perfect in its ability to ignite both giddiness for my favorite works of science fiction on film/television and excitement for all the imagined futures that see us flung across the universe. I’ll just leave it right here for you to enjoy at your leisure.


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