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Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Lady Gaga Effect



I cannot get Lady Gaga out of my head.

This is bad. Very bad.

Do you know how hard it is to write about the Middle Ages or Ancient Egypt when you have the lyrics to "Bad Romance" or "Poker Face" running through your head, especially when you're editing a scene and random words from the chorus start typing themselves into your dialogue? My brain cannot multi-task! (This is also why I never listen to music with lyrics when I write.)

My favorite Lady Gaga line?

Russian roulette is not the same without a gun.

Darn straight! (Says the girl who has never and will never play Russian roulette.)

But seriously, how lame would it be to read a scene on Russian roulette and then find out there was no gun? Or bullets. Or poison.

I shy away from conflict in real life and have had several readers call me on the fact that I shield my characters from conflict too. But fiction has to be larger than life. It's not just Russian roulette with a gun, it's Russian roulette with an Uzi pointed in your face. (Yeah, I like hyperbole. So sue me.)

So next time I want life to go easy on my characters I'll just remember Lady Gaga. Somehow I doubt she ever shies away from conflict.

Happy weekend!

19 comments:

Melissa said...

The Lady Gaga effect might help a lot of writers when trying not to put readers through the worst.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

I am not into Lady Gaga, but that must be the single most profound line I read in a couple of days.

Dominique said...

Excellent point.
As a teacher of mine used to say, "You've got to be really sick to be an author. Because you've got to create these characters, know them, love them, and then you have to ruin their lives." You've got to put the gun in their hands.

Stephanie Thornton said...

Melissa- Good point! It's awful as a writer to put characters through all that, but it's just as bad as a reader!

Rayna- I'm not a huge fan, but she's got some catchy songs. And I just love that line.

Dominique- That's a good point. We are pretty twisted people!

L.T. Elliot said...

I like that line, too. Don't know why but Poker Face is just so catchy.

Quinn said...

I love Lady Gaga and that line "Russian roulette is not the same without a gun." Great post! I've posted about Lady Gaga before over on my blog. Her video for "Bad Romance" inspired one of my characters and was inspiration for a main theme in my second book.

Dominique said...

By the way, there's an award for you on my blog. :)
http://mavieenviolet.blogspot.com/2010/10/some-general-randomness.html

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Great point! I think I need to break out an uzi every now and then too. I'm like you and tend to shy away from conflict. It doesn't work in a story. Go figure! :-)

Amalia T. said...

This happens to me less with music and more with Icelandic. Can not for the life of me concentrate on ancient Greece while trying to learn Icelandic verb conjugations and the like!

But you're right! I think sometimes I have this problem too. I'm good about putting SOME of my character through the ringer-- but I need to consistently do it to all of them! Good luck with yours!

paulgreci said...

That's a cool reminder to keep turning the screws to increase the tension.

And I can relate to the multi-tasking comment:-)

Susan R. Mills said...

This is so true! I will forever think of Lady Gaga when throwing conflict at my characters.

Mark Noce said...

Hey it's John Lennon's birthday today! Try some Beatles to get all that gaga out of your head:)

VR Barkowski said...

I must have a lot of pent up conflict in my soul, because I have no problem thrusting it on my characters. No music required.

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm getting better at throwing my characters into conflict. My big problem is that I solve all of their problems quickly. I don't like leaving people in angst in real life. Gotta get over that in my writing! :)

Heagar said...

I think that's so funny, I'm the same way. By the way, I'm Heather. i found your blog through Natalie Bahm's blog and your story sounds fascinating!

Medeia Sharif said...

I'm not a Gaga fan, but maybe I should become one.

eeleenlee said...

What would life be without pop tunes from dance divas? Boooring

Elle Strauss said...

Good point, not a good idea to protect characters! I too, don't like music to clog my thinking when I write.

Janet Johnson said...

My characters are like my kids. I hate to put them through the wringer, but boring story otherwise!