Writing and Pop Syndrome

DISCLAIMER: I don’t actually own one of these. But I really want to.

This was meant to be a novel-writing blog. Well. A blog geared around the idea that I write, with dashes of other subjects too. It isn’t quite, but I like it that way. Motivating myself to blog motivates me to write. Just last month, I entered a writing competition, and I await the publishing of its longlist tomorrow with bated breath.

The novel I’m working on almost died an early death. I was 57,000 words in, nearly at my goal of 72K. I had but a vague idea of its ending, and could not muster up the creative energy to finish. I was absolutely stuck. I spent two months trying to figure out what was wrong, and I had my epiphany last week: the chronology of events was badly mixed up. I hadn’t even decided which chapter was the opening one (Yes. You’d think that might be key). The resolution: I’m rewriting it word from word to string events together coherently, while making minor edits along the way. It’s not as difficult as it sounds, because I’ve recaptured that urge to finish and the sense of direction I had at the beginning of the project. And that is a wonderful feeling.


Now for the odd part of the title, because I didn’t want to make two posts in one day (and this won’t be long, anyway). This little ramble-rant was inspired by a question I was asked yesterday. I’m not exactly old-fashioned and I’m not one of those hard-line feminists, but am I the only one who is sick and tired of all the scantily-dressed pop stars? Why do you have to be half-naked to be famous? Our society’s obsession with sex and women is so ingrained and overt that Madonna, trying to rake back the fame she had when she was young, is now flashing her breasts at fans to emulate pop “stars” like Rihanna and Katy Perry. God, I feel embarrassed for her. I’m not a great fan, but the only female pop star who seems to have a sense of decency and class is Beyonce. The male stars are guilty of the same thing; they all boast about sex and money to appeal to male fans, and toughness to appeal to the female (along with same old love songs). And thus I’m glad for people like Adele, Emeli Sande and Florence Welch, who can sing well without relying on sex to sell themselves.

5 thoughts on “Writing and Pop Syndrome

  1. Peter Monaco

    I feel your pain. I scratched my idea for a book completely (well, for the forseeable future where plots need to make sense) after thinking that this was “it”.

    And I share your disgust with current pop stars. I can’t even listen to the radio anymore because almost every artist is hurriedly recording pure crap to capitalize on the popularity of a certain musical style (Maroon 5’s new CD for an example). Kills me.

    1. dlaiden Post author

      The worst bit is that most times, as soon as the plot gets muddled up it’s impossible to write. :/ Happened with my last two projects. I was doing this thing where some chapters doubled as self-contained short stories, so it got slightly confusing.

      Maroon 5 used to be good. 😦 Now just look at them…At least a few people can still make proper music, but it’s sad to see bands/singers who used to be original jumping on the bandwagon.

  2. Tinkerbell

    I’m sorry, did I read that right? Sense of decency and class = Beyonce? Come on now, bootylicious anyone? Remember that? On the whole though I agree with you on “pop syndrome.” My favorite is Adele, so far she’s playing it decent, still, and seems to be headed in that direction. Hopefully she’s not gonna strip crazy in five years and say she was controlled and forced to cover her cleavage by some evil music producer the way Mariah Carey did.

    About writing a novel, I wrote two, finished one of them, and I’m still not happy with both. As for your 72k, good luck with that. Kudos to you for entering a writing competition. For some reason, I’m terrified of entering any, it makes me feel sick.

    1. dlaiden Post author

      Ah. You have a point. I suppose I gave her a slightly higher position on the scale because recently she wears more clothes than most of the others. 😉 And I suppose for Adele we’ll just have to wait and see. It seems anybody will do anything for an extra bit of fame these days. :/

      I know what you mean. It always seems like something could be phrased better, or that the dialogue is slightly wooden, or worst of all, you just have a vague feeling of something being wrong which you can never pinpoint. >.< And thanks. Competitions scare me too: in the last I got increasingly paranoid and began to tell myself that I wouldn't make the list. I didn't, and it nearly stopped me entering this one. Maybe it's the deadline pressure that bothers you?

      1. Tinkerbell

        Yup, deadlines kill me, and the fear of not being good enough. Like not making the list in your case, I would be anxious too before knowing, but it’s not really the “before knowing,” it’s a “before submitting” anxiety that makes me dizzy.

        With the novel especially it’s hard to be satisfied, it’s easy to nitpick. I train myself to write it all and finish it, and then sculpt it however I like, and even that skill takes practice. It’s just fun to get lost in that writing world though, once I get over the fear of writing itself that is!

        God help you with school and those deadlines, best of luck with it all.


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