Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hitting the Right Notes

I got the game DJ Hero for Christmas (on Xbox 360), and I love it. I've always secretly wanted to be a DJ, but alas I never had exposure to such things. I've never seen a DJing turntable up close; I've never had a mixer (although I nearly bought one years ago). I love mashups. So DJ Hero was a real treat.

Despite what I assume is the freeform style of mixing, DJ Hero (like its predecessors Guitar Hero and Band Hero) makes you hit notes or scratches in a smorgasbord of hand-eye coordination. Hitting those notes isn't easy, but when you do, you make music.

While I was reading a story this weekend, I came across a note that was JUST RIGHT in the story. It was a certain phrase that wrapped up the little details of the whole story and just brought everything together in a very pleasing point. And because I'd spent a fair amount of time on my DJ Hero turntable (I love the way that sounds!), I was more aware than usual of how sweet it is to strike those right notes--in any art form. All at once, I understood some of the comments I've gotten in my writing group on certain story elements that just worked. Sometimes it's a plot element, sometimes it's a word, sometimes just a detail. When something works in a story, it brings the reader satisfaction and the sense that the story is GOOD.

How do you make sure you hit these notes? I don't know. Maybe you concentrate on character details and see if they tie in with the overall theme of the story. I know this sounds vague, but I honestly don't know how to come up with these notes because they're magic.

Have you come across a really great note in a story? Do you know how to manufacture them?


Travener said...

I *wish* I knew how to manufacture them. I've had a few of those moments but they've all just happened serendipitously. If you ever figure out how to make them happen, let me know!

Tina Lynn said...

I am starting to believe that these things are completely out of my control. Sometimes they happen, sometimes they don't. It sucks when they don't. I've noticed that many times hitting the notes happens when I am totally immersed in my story.

Sierra Godfrey said...

Totally agree, guys.

Meghan Ward said...

I want to know what the phrase in the story was! Or wouldn't it make sense without having read the story?

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