Saturday, February 14, 2015

Battle of the Bands and My Novel ~ Emotion

Hello again, friends.

Before we launch Battle of the Bands (early again), I want to take a moment and share what's going on in my world.

Now, when I talk about my migraines, I know many of you think that they are WORSE than before. That isn't true. They are better than they were when I started blogging, but they are not as good as I want them to be (that would be gone). I still have days that knock me out and put me in bed (more than I'd like), but less than I had before we made the move to Florida.

The thing is that I only get so many *good* hours in a day and I have to decide how I want to use them. When I'm  using them blogging, you know it. I'm writing blogs. I'm reading blogs. I'm posting HERE'S TO YOU weekly. If you don't know what the latter is, I apologize. When I'm not using those hours blogging, it looks very much like the last two months. Again, I apologize.

The rewrite on my novel is sucking my *good* time. I wish I could say I'm making fine headway. Mostly, I'm writing. Deleting what I wrote a few days later. Reading someone else's (good) book. Writing. Deleting. Rinse. Repeat. It finally occurred to me yesterday what the problem is. Yeah, it only took a month or so. The POV of my MC has completely changed (and I'm not talking about first to third and that business). I'm talking about the thrust of the plot. The action. All of that internal dialogue has shifted, along with the events that go with it. You see, in the old story my MC was a bit like me. She more or less stumbled into things and then had to figure out how to deal with what she stumbled into... as opposed to making things happen.

If you want an example from my life, this blog serves excellently. I had no idea what I was doing when I started writing it. I stumbled around for months (mostly without clue). Eventually ran into (quite by accident) interesting bloggers and built relationships. Then I discovered via them other interesting bloggers. When I started writing, I began to discover writer blogs. They had links to other writer things... like agent blogs. You see, I backdoored my way through this entire blogging experience. My MC was backdooring her way through my novel. That is what I know how to do (too well, I think). Turns out, it really isn't that helpful to the reader. Bryan (from a A Beer For The Shower) gave me commentary that I sorely needed. He said something like, "I'm 40+ pages in and this is entertaining as all get-out, but I have no idea what it's about." And he was right. My MC didn't arrive at *the point* until Chapter 6. She was backdooring around, allowing the reader to fully glimpse the calamity that was/is her life, but there wasn't really a *point.* Turns out, that inserting the *point* sooner changes everything. I'm struggling with it. I've already scrapped stuff I really liked about the old MS to make way for the *point.* I keep trying to work around what's already there. I'm just about at the place where I think  need to start rewriting altogether. I can't make the backdoor and the *point* walk hand-in-hand.

Actually, that's good advice for life. I think if I want to get to the point of my own life, I need to stop wandering around hoping to backdoor into it. I will ponder that more later.

Tomorrow is busy for me, but it's also Battle of the Bands. So, I'm launching early.

I discovered this cover quite by accident. Do you sense a recurring theme in this post? I didn't even recognize that it was a cover until the chorus. Then I was like, "I know this song. Just not this song." So, I scrapped what I was considering for this BoTB installment in favor of this song: Emotion. The original is a Bee Gees number featuring Samantha Sang. The cover was something I'd never heard until a few days ago (although it was apparently a big hit) by Destiny's Child.

Since I think you probably know the original, let's begin with the cover. Here's Destiny's Child covering Emotion:

And here is The Bee Gees featuring Samantha Sang:

For more Battle of the Bands fun, check out the other BOTB bloggers to vote on their battles:

If you are participating in Battle of the Bands, and you are not listed here, leave me a note in the comments. Thanks!

Now, is the critical moment. It is time to vote for your favorite version of this song. I even encourage you to leave me long comment explaining all the ins and outs of why you voted as you did! 


  1. Oh, I have SO done that -- wrote about a character who was wandering through the story without a goal until I figured it out. The hardest part is throwing out and restructuring. It is easier to hang on to the old material until you reach a point where you say, "Why is that still in there?"

    I can say this with certainty, as I am currently revising an old manuscript for about the 50th time and still finding leftovers from the terrible first draft ...

  2. I hope you find better success with your migraines. I saw another blogger recently who was struggling and ended up on a daily preventive (as opposed to trying to beat the symptoms after they occur)

    I don't think I can vote against the Bee Gees, and this song is just impossible for me to tease away from them. The twang, the high pitch...just so 70's

  3. I have no novel ideas(smile). Pain - I relate.

    Destiny's child did a nice version here. I was liking it until the voice trails. I don't know tech words for that stuff. Maybe too much 'jazzing off'? (Does that work as a terminology?)

    I vote for Samantha Sang - (a tamer, almost Karaoke version), with the BGs.

  4. I think you will break through the barrier and be able to write your novel the way you want it to be. It's great that you have people who help you and are honest. You also are open to the positive criticism and you can see what needs to be addressed and you will get there, of that I am certain. Pain sucks! My friend who suffers from migraines has found that the botox doesn't seem to be helping as much as it did the first time plus she thinks she has had some reaction to it ( rash appearing, numbness). I find that when I have severe pain so does she so I know the weather has something to do with it. Weird but true. Now as for the battle? I prefer the Bee Gees over Destiny's Child. They change the way they sing it by going higher and lower or changing the tempo a bit whereas Destiny's Child seems to be all one note. I can tell they seem new to the vocal challenges of this song whereas the Bee Gees know what to do with this song

  5. I hope you can get over the migraines one day. That's gotta be tough.
    I completely understand the meandering in writing a novel and your post has shed light on a problem with the novel that's been inside me the longest. I started it when I was in college--in the early 70's. I've started, I've written scenes, studies, and even derived short stories from it and now with your post I see that I don't know exactly what that novel is about. Hard to finish something like that. Maybe someday.

    I didn't know Destiny's Child had any kind of a hit with "Emotion" but that's no surprise to me. I was grooving on their sound but then the vocals get all carried away at the end. Don't know why artists think they have to get all showy like that but they lost me there. And since the Bee Gees are one of my long time favorite groups I probably wouldn't have voted against there version anyway. It's the best.

    I vote Bee Gees.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

  6. At least now you know your character is backdooring her way through the story.
    I have to go with the second one. It sounds more like the original, and while I don't mind new arrangements, I don't think Destiny's Child's was an improvement.


    At first, I thought I didn't know this song at all. Didn't recognize the title, and all I could think of was 'FEELINGS' by Morris Albert. But, yes, just a wee bit o' into the Destiny's Child cover I thought: Oh, hell yes, I know this. They played it to death on the radio back when "Disco Sucked" - which, by the way, it mostly still does.

    I didn't even need to play the Bee Gees' version to know that I wasn't voting for Destiny's Chil', but I did play it anyway, just to be all official with my vote 'n' shi--- er... stuffs.

    I think I would have liked the Destiny's Child version better if they had included more high-pitched squealing - you know, so I'd REALLY KNOW that they were into it big time. There just wasn't enough high-pitched squealing to satisfy me. ("Squeal like a pig, you Destiny's Children! Squeal like a pig!")

    My vote goes to the more familiar Bee Gees original, even if the only song I've ever REALLY liked by them guys(?) was 'NIGHTS ON BROADWAY'.

    Well, you can tell by the way I use my vote
    I'm a woman's man: no time to talk

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Disco Queen'

  8. Robin, first, be well.

    As for the song, I guess I'm alone. I like the Destiny's Child version. The Bee Gees make me fell like I should be chewing bubble gum.

  9. I think thats why I'd rather leave my "Great American Novel" in it's current longhand form. I enjoyed it, I learned as the lead character learned. I was an observer in my own story. It was FUN. Whether anyone else would have that fun is debatable.

    While I agree with STMC that nights on broadway was my favorite Bee Gees tune, I like a lot of their music, and that which they bequethed to others such as this. I needed but one note to vote here.

  10. Ugh! I don't really like Disco and Double Ugh! I don't like Destiny's Child at all (BTW, is that Miss Big Butt-Beyonce there in DC? - OK, that was not kind or positive, but I think you get the picture here.)

    I am making an effort to be more positive, so I'm not gonna say much more on this topic, song, the artists or YIKES, disco.

    Give my vote to the BeeGees as it is at least the move familiar to me, and what the heck 'you CAN dance to it', if you dare.

    1. Yes, that is Beyonce. She sang with Destiny's Child (apparently) before going solo.

      I suppose I can say (since it won't be a surprise) that the place I heard this song was in a place that pretty well caters to black folks (and the music they like). Even though 40-50% of the customers are white (and elderly white, at that) we are often deluged with very loud modern "soul" music. My mother moans about ear plugs and I think about how handily it pounds in time with my migraine. Given those parameters, this song was actually a relief when it came on. And it contains all those vocal acrobatics that drive me crazy. Yep, when I go on about vocal acrobatics, I'm talking about THIS.

      Of course, the flips side of the aforementioned place is that I heard the song for my last battle (The Temptations version) in this same place. What do you think THAT means?

  11. My problem with R&B from the late 80's to present is that it has become so formulaic that it's hard to tell the artists apart. A handful of producers seem to work on every release, so you can pretty much buy one CD and you've got the last twenty years covered.

    Disco was formulaic, too, but I see no reason to vote for Destiny's Child.

    I too, am a card-carrying member of the "Disco Sux" movement, but I'll give this one to the Bee Gees.

    Motown was also formulaic, but I happen to love that formula.

  12. For this song, I like Destiny's child better.

    On the note of wandering, I've pretty much been wandering through life--except when I was in college. Then, instead of dealing with my grief, I fully focused on my studies and volunteer stuff. Since then, I've been back to wandering. With my book, I kept re-charting the course until I finally figured out the road I'd take. But to get there, Robin, I wandered for well more than a year. I think it's all part of the process. Not only the writing process, but the process of being human.

    Hang tough - you have so much to continue to offer to the world. xo

  13. Working on your WIP during your good hours seems like the best way to use them. I'm 100% Bee Gees.

  14. Is backdooring the same as Pantser-ing? :) IF so, that's so me, too... but good on your beta(s) for giving you constructive criticism now... instead of two weeks before publication date...

    BEST of luck and don't let your humor fail you :) Smile and the whole world smiles with you, too:)

  15. First off, never feel you have to apologize for not blogging because you're working on your writing -- your writing should take priority, I think.

    And as to having to scrap and rewrite the whole story, think of it this way: Your understanding and artistic vision for the story you want has become refined and improved. You've got a clearer picture of what works and what doesn't. You have a deeper understanding of your MC and the overall story arc. These all sound like great things to me.

    And really -- which is better? Starting fresh and rewriting what you now have a clearer vision of to make it the best story possible? Or continuing to try and cobble together the loose ends you have done just to make it "good enough?"

    Temper my advise with the full knowledge that I've yet to complete ONE novel, but I think starting fresh will ultimately be less work, less stress, and more rewarding -- and you can still work in pieces you've already written in the appropriate spots if you want.

    As to your BOTB: I really wanted to vote for Destiny's Child just because it meant NOT voting for the Bee Gees. But in the end, I can't do it. The DC version does have a touch more soul, but those "I gotta sing like a 'diva'!" vocal runs and trills all over EVERY freakin' note just turns me off. It's not about the song at all -- it's all just "Lookit Me!!!!" grandstanding...

    The Bee Gees are annoying, but overall, there original version of this song is not as bad as many others. At least there's someone else singing during a lot of it. The only useful thing I've every gotten out of the Bee Gees is that the beat to "Staying Alive" is the correct one to give chest-compressions to when administering CPR.

    So count me as a (reluctant) vote for the Bee Gees.

    And I hope your migraines continue to get better until the fade away completely!!! Hang in there!

  16. Count me with those who dislike disco, but the BeeGees did have a few good hits, so although neither song did anything for me, I'll vote for the BG's on this one. I dislike most female vocal groups, too much sameold, sameold.

  17. The Bee Gee's by a landslide! The other version seemed to drag in comparison. Robin, you were wise to elicit such a straight-forward critique partner. Since this is a learning experience, I would continue to be open about Bryan's advice, and fill in the blanks as needed. You will definitely get there, and I'm sure it will be well worth the wait!


  18. I didn't like all of the up-and-down lines in Destiny's Child's version. Is that supposed to add soul to it? Whatever, it did nothing for me. In contrast, The Bee Gees version is a classic, and I like their harmony better. The Brothers Gibb take this one.

    In case you can't find it, my battle is here:

  19. Uh oh, blogs need a point? I still don't entirely know what the point of ours is...

    So I'mma let you finish, but BEYONCE WAS THE BEST OF ALL TIME.

    ...said no one ever. I did not care for that Destiny's Child rendition, and believe it or not... I like the Bee Gees. A lot. I grew up listening to them. Barry, Maurice, and Robin very easily get my vote.

  20. It's hard to scrap a story and start over, but sometimes that is easiest on your sanity.

    Since I grew up with the BeeGees, their version is comforting and familiar.

  21. Everyday headaches are terrible and the few migraines I've experienced in my life then I know how debilitating they are. I'm glad you're finding some relief and that you get your rewrites successfully completed. I love the song, Emotions!! I did not care for Destiny's Child cover. So, The Bee Gees feat. Samatha Sang get my vote!!

  22. Your blog journey sounds like my first two novels. I started writing them before I understood story mechanics. :)

  23. Hm. I thought both versions were pretty similar, however - the Destiny's Child version is more soulful than the Bee Gees/Samantha Sang version. But the Bee Gees? Love them. (Had a serious crush on their brother Andy Gibb when I was little.) But they sound so amazing together! I'm going to have to give my vote to them.

  24. Ah, everybody doesn't like Disco and it has become a target of sorts - but I loved it. And no one rules the airwaves like The Bee Gees. I have to give them my vote; not even close.

    However, I did like the Destiny's Child version - I just didn't LOVE it.

    Now where is my satin skirt and mirrored stilletto heels?


  25. I didn't know Destiny's Child redid that song. Hmm. I like the Bee Gee's better.

  26. You've received so many comments with good ideas, I don't know what to add other then to remind you, your story needs to start with an inciting incident. Hard to "wander" in if there is something concrete happening to get things rolling. If it makes you feel any better, I once sent an early draft of something to a writer I really respect. She didn't finish it (nor should she have wasted her time) but about 25 pages into it she wrote: Your story starts here!

    Oh and I'm sorry, but there is no way anyone could sing this song better than the Bee Gees. No contest!

  27. Gotta go with the Bee Gees version. Something about the Destiny's Child one turned me right off. Don't know what it was. A feeling.

    I totally understand about your good hours and using them to maximum advantage. Keep going.

  28. Hope this is a no migraine day for you. And, hey, figuring out what's not working is the hardest part. Now you can get that character turned around and moving in the right direction.

    I have to go with the BeeGees on this one. Didn't like the Destiny's Child version at all. Way too much unnecessary "fancying up" of the melody. If you know what I mean.

  29. Bee Gees. Sticking with the original.

    I don't recall getting that feel when I read the story, but I'm into books with internal conflict. Moving the action to the beginning is always the best way to go. Great call by the Beer guy.

  30. Rewrites are hard but throwing lots of good stuff out because it just doesn't work is even harder, I think. I often save those parts in a separate 'extra' file on the chance I can salvage anything.

  31. Definitely the Bee Gees! That one has got emotion.


You can now add YouTube videos in your comments by copy/pasting the link. AND/OR you can insert an image by surrounding the code with this: [im]code[/im]. In the case of images, make sure that your code is short and simple ending with something like .jpg. If you want to use a pic from someplace like Google Images, click on the image, then click on View Image. That is the code you want!

Dazzle Me!