My wife loves a good countdown, especially the ones on VH1. I think she was watching the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and ABBA came up. While they’re profiling the band they cut to Corey Taylor and says something like, “Yeah, I like ABBA. What.” For those not familiar, Corey Taylor is the lead singer of Slipknot; a metal band as heavy as it comes.
The differences between the two are endless and you’d think based on the music Slipknot plays, Corey would be more into music like that. At the time when Slipknot debuted, they were a breath of fresh air in the metal community and ABBA may have had something to do with this.
Let me explain.
If you asked Corey Taylor his influences, I’m sure he’d name a bunch of rock/metal bands, but there would also be some more usual picks like ABBA. That tells me his mind is open. He’s thinking on more levels than just rock music which in turn affects his songwriting. He won’t be writing Dancing Queen anytime soon, but he might hear something in ABBA’s sound or in the way their songs are written that would work for his band.
Last year in discovering ebooks and the indie movement, I learned there was a lot of romance authors. I’ll be honest, I definitely fell into the “I don’t read romance and if I did happen to read one, I’d call something else.” crowd. I had nothing against the genre. My perception of it was just distorted. After getting to know some bloggers and reading about their books, I found myself interested in their stories despite the romance label.
So I tried them out and really liked them. I was a romance reader and looking back I realized I was a romance reader along. Heck, I was a romance fan and didn’t know it.
I was very angry with Kelly when she dumped Zack for that douche working at The Max. I couldn’t believe Vaughn got remarried after Sydney was “dead” for like, thirty seconds!
So . . . getting back to the point.
What jumped out the most to me was the skill these authors had at taking complex emotions and putting them into words. Of course I’d seen that in books I’d read (horror/thriller/mystery), but not to the extent as these books. Immediately, I saw where my writing needed improvement.
If I want to be a great writer, I need to be well-rounded and step out of my comfort zone once in a while. There’s a definite style to each genre that will only help me with my own writing. I think this is something all writers can benefit from and why stop at books? Maybe this week, instead of watching Sandra Bullock find love again, pick out something else. If you don’t like reading the newspaper, buy one anyway and try to find a section that catches your eye. This week, use your imagination (you know you’ve got a fantastic one) and stimulate your brain with something new.
And when you do, come back and comment on it!
Follow my ROW80 progress every Wednesday and Sunday and be here Tuesdays and Thursdays for new posts on me, writing, superheroes, monsters, comics and any other geeky stuff on my mind.