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Swoon Author Vicky Skinner: Writing + Other Types of Art

Have you ever read a book that was so beautifully written that as soon as you finished it, you sat down at your computer because you just had to write? You felt so inspired by the writing or the story or the way it made you feel that you wanted to make something that great too? That’s my FAVORITE FEELING.

I fully believe that art informs art. We experience someone’s passion through art and then we’re filled with the need to display our own passion. And it’s not just books! Movies, music, visual art, anything else you can think of! If you need inspiration, take a few hours to take in someone else’s vision. It’s worth it! Even if it’s not the genre you’re writing; even if it doesn’t seem like it makes sense. It will. Trust me.

So here are a few things that helped me along when I was editing How to Breathe Underwater, other art that made my fingers itch to type again, to jump back into the pool with Kate and Michael, things that reminded me how much I love being an artist!

1.) “Pool” by Paramore

When I was in high school, I wanted to be one of the people who chose the music used in television shows. It turns out you have to have all kinds of specialized schooling to do that, and since all I wanted to major in was Literature, I let go of that dream pretty quick. However, when I’m daydreaming about my books as movies (please tell me I’m not the only one who does this), I love to include a soundtrack. In 2017, while I was in the midst of edits for How to Breathe Underwater, Paramore put out this song, and it was perfect. So many times, I imagined this song playing seconds before the credits roll, and it was always so awesome in my head!

2.) This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

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I would be hardcore lying if I said I didn’t pick this book up just because of how awesome the cover is. If you haven’t figure it out yet, I adore blue-covered books! If you haven’t read This Adventure Ends or anything else by Emma Mills, I suggest you get on it. I read This Adventure Ends while I was editing How to Breathe Underwater, and it made me want to write about characters someone else would love as much as I love the characters in this book. It made me want to add humor, it made me want to add more tension-filled eye contact, it made me want to add more drama. This book is for anyone who wants to write a good, emotional, frustrating, lovely romantic story that’s sprinkled with family drama!

3.) La La Land


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Look, I know that La La Land is one of those love it or hate it movies. I know it has, like, a 50% approval rating. I get that. But this movie. I saw La La Land about six months after I signed on with Swoon Reads, and after almost a decade of rejection letters, this movie GOT TO ME. It was a week after Christmas, I was on an anniversary date with my husband, and I was crying in the club because this movie reminded me of all the reasons I wanted to be a writer. If you’ve ever been Emma Stone, standing in the middle of the street, crying because maybe she’s not good enough, well, you get it.

A book is almost never just a book by itself. It’s usually a collection of inspirations. There’s a soundtrack, there’s years of books the writer has read that they’ve wanted to imitate, there’s hours of Netflix dramas. Everything a writer takes in and loves comes out in their work, and that’s what makes it beautiful.

Author spotlight

Vicky Skinner

Born and raised in Texas, I don't act like much of a Texan. I like cold weather and hate country ...

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