Fair Use and Lyrics

I love music. That is why I want a job working with bands. Their words inspire me. And for Nanowrimo my main character is not only in a band but also has this thing almost like a nervous habit that when he has anxiety he mumbles inspiring lyrics. Well, lyrics that in whatever situation he is in he finds inspiring. Here is the issue. I can not write these lyrics in a novel that will be published unless I pay the artist’s. And their celebrates so let’s face facts it will break my bank if I did that. But here is the issue. Even this small nervous habit that my character has is a BIG BIG part of who he is. I can’t just not let him be himself. Because without inspiring music he wouldn’t be a teenaged rock star thrown into the spotlight to early, Because he has a lot of drama that happens in his life span. And when he is in his darkest days he will sing. So how do I use lyrics?

I looked into it a little more and a few lines should be considered “fair use.” But it’s not. Because songs that are made after 1933 may not be considered public domain, which is a fancy term for the public does not own them therefore can not use them.

Now don’t get me wrong I understand why they are not public domain. Because then people would be calling these amazing songs their own. But I’m curious because let’s say in real life I had a wonderful voice and could sing, made a YouTube channel and filled it with cover songs. How come these awesome singers on YouTube can make corer songs with music that isn’t public domain? Well to answer that, YouTube pays BMI which is like the boss of music, to be able to use songs over the internet without having to worry about copyright because they are paying technically the artists.

So if a nobody makes a YouTube channel and sings everybody’s song for free, why can’t I put it in my novel? And honestly I don’t even want to whole song. I just want a few lines. Ok to be honest maybe I want a whole chorus but technically that’s only four lines in a song.

What is free for us writers to use is the song title. Take for example the song I want to use, “Take Me To Church,” by Hoizer I can not use the lyrics that say “take me to church….” BUT for free I can use the song title. Which doesn’t help because it’s not the four lines I want. It’s four words in the four lines yes but I want my characters little moments to be important.

Here’s my last example. Let’s say Honey (my character) had a hard time at work and is now cooking himself dinner. Well he would be singing because he’s Honey and that’s what he does. He might be singing about the crush he has at work. So my writing might be something like;

Honey sat the pan on the stove and grabbed some oil. He mumbled “I guess it’s true I’m not good at a one night stand.”

This one sentence is a song lyric from Sam Smith’s “Stay with me.” But it gives my reader a sense that maybe honey sucks at dating which is why he’s nervous to have this crush because he doesn’t want to be crushed himself. That one song lyric opened my character up more to my reader. And sure I could have said all that in a paragraph instead of using a song lyric but Honey is a singer and that’s how he would express himself. Just like when I’m alone I sing to the radio as loud as I can when I hear a song I love. Because it inspires me and it inspired Honey.

So all in all form this long rant. BMI is good for everyone else but writers. And also I need money to pay all the celebs that songs I will be using in my draft of my novel during nanowrimo. Thanks for reading. 😀


Nanowrimo 2014: Great First Lines

This is one of the hardest things about writing in my eyes. I always think I have such a good first line and in a week when I come back to it, I usually trash it. So here are a few tips about first lines.

First lines are there to hook in the readers. You don’t want a boring first line or there is a chance someone won’t pick up your book. You do not have to the best first line, just one that catches a readers interests. Here are a few great first lines:

The Young Elites by Marie Lu, “I’m going to die tomorrow morning.”

Harry Potter and the Scorers Stone by J.K Rowling, ” Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”

Shatter Me by Tehereh Mafi, “I’ve been locked up for 264 days.”

I think of first lines as the thesis to a research paper, yuck! But it is basically the same idea. You want one line that can lead into your novel. One line to make the reader go “What? Why? I want more!”

For me I like the simple one lines. This is different for others. To me one line should be a few words. For my Nanowrimo novel this is my rough draft first line:

“Everyday I become more ashamed of the society I live in.”

DO NOT be afraid to come back to your first line. I have heard it is best to come back to your first line when your novel is finished because you can make this line stronger. But for now my one line I feel is a good lead into my book. It shows my characters thinking already which will lead into how he lives his life and developers.

I hope this helped a little and inspired you to write write write!

Review: The Selection Series


I really enjoyed The Selection Series by Kiera Cass. This series follows America Singer and her adventures in the selection. We start with book one: The Selection were we are brought into this dystopian world were everyone in society is broken up into castes.

Caste 1 you are a royal.
Caste 2 -3 are pretty wealthy families. Jobs include modeling and other more expensive business.
Caste 4-5 are lower middle class. America and her family work in arts and music.
Then there is Caste 6 – the lowest of the casts. These are servants of sorts. Unless you work for the royal family 6’s are frowned upon.
Finally you can be casteless. This means you are lower than a 6. You belong no where.

On top of this caste system, you can only marry within your caste or above your caste. For example if you are a 5 you can marry into a 5 or higher, but you cannot marry lower than a 5. This is not illegal but is very frowned upon.

Once a royal prince or princess is of age the selection happens. Prince Maxon is of age and gets to pick out of 35 girls one to be his wife. American does not want to participate but pressure from family and friends makes her put her name into the pool. And she is picked to be one of the 35 girls to be in the selection. Not only will she be taken from her true love in her home town now she must learn to become a future princess while of course avoiding girl drama.

I gave The Selection 5 out of 5 stars.

For The Elite and The One I do not want to go into to much detail to avoid spoiling others on what happens. I think that people who like contemporary and the bachelor and the hunger games will enjoy this book because it is all theses things in one. I gave The Elite and The One both 5 out of 5 stars.

The only thing I did not like about The One was the ending. It was a good ending no doubt but the drama and everything happened to fast. After I was done with The One I just wanted more. I wanted a bigger ending then it was. It wasn’t that the ending was bad I just wanted more.

Recently I read The Selection Stories novellas; The Prince and The Guard. Together I gave this a 4 out of 5 stars but if I rated them separately I would give The Prince 3 out of 5 stars and The Guard 5 out of 5 stars.

Now these novellas seem that most people either love or hate them. So please do not go by what I say to buy the novellas if you are not sure about them. For me, The Prince was awful. I hated how Maxon acted and wanted him to grow up. Sure this was a novella that took place in the beginning of The Selection but for a prince I had higher hopes for him.

I never expected to like The Guard. I mean I liked Aspen in the books but I never loved him. But in The Guard he surprised me. He was what I wanted Maxon to be!

All in all I really love this series. I can not wait for The Heir to come out! May 2015 get here already!

Review: St. Vincent

I usually do not do movie reviews because I don’t go to the movies a lot. But I recently went and saw St. Vincent mainly because Melissa McCarthy was in it. For star ratings I will do the same type of rating I would use for books. 5 stars is the highest you can give an I gave this movie 5 out of 5 stars.

Going into the movie and from seeing the trailers I knew it wasn’t going to be a comedy. It takes a serious tone and is beautifully done. I loved everyone in the cast and enjoyed the plot.

Meet Maggie and Oliver. They just moved into a new house because Maggie and her husband are getting a divorced. Unfortunately they moved into the house next to Vincent, a veteran who is not so nice. He gambles and drinks and is broke. When Maggie needs a babysitter for Oliver, Vincent sees this as a opportunity to earn some much needed cash. But what he gains is a friendship with a little boy. And when Vincent needs them the most, Oliver and Maggie are there to help.

What makes a Saint? This is the idea behind the story. That you can find greatness in the most unlikely people.

I highly recommend this movie to everyone. It is brilliant. One of the best movies I have seen all year. I have added the trailer to this review so you can watch it. 😀

Music Monday: Half a Mockingjay

This week something big happens for all of us Hunger Games fangirls and fanboys and everything in between. MOCKINGJAY PART 1 TICKETS GO ON SALE!!!!! It’s almost here! On October 29th Americans can purchase tickets for Mockingjay part 1 which will come out in just about another month. To get us pumped I have here a special spotifiy playlist with one song. This song has not been released in America yet. It is Yellow Flicker Beat by Lorde which will be in the Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack! May the odds be ever in your favor.

October Book Haul


This past month I collected a number of books. This pile is bigger than I usually have for a book haul because I was able to go to a used book store where I purchased 6 books. So let’s jumped into it.

The first book I bough this month was Half a King by Joe Abercrombie.

Next I bought the first Lux bind up by Jennifer L. Armetrout and I was able to read Obsidian this month.For my review you can find it here.

Then I purchased Bloodlines by Rochelle Mead.

Then in the middle of the month I went to a used bookstore where I purchased; The Lighting Thief (forgot to take a pic of it) and The Red Pyramid both by Rick Riordon, Glass by Ellen Hopkins, Freaky Green Eyes by Joyce Carol Oates, Peter and the Star Catcher and Bridge to Never Land (no dust jacket) both by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.

Next I purchased on a day before it’s release date, The Young Elites by Marie Lu.

And last weekend I bought The Selection Stories Novellas by Kiera Cass.

I am so excited to get to these books and I will try to write as many reviews for them as I can. 😀 In total I bought 11 books this month!


Nanowrimo 2014: Brain Storming

To start off any type of writing one of the best things you can do to help yourself is to brain storm. Lots of us have been taught how to brain storm in elementary schools. But no one really taught us what was the best way to brain storm. The answer is there is not a right or wrong way to brain storm. Some people like lists. Some people like outlines. Me? I like to web out my ideas. Sure this seems a bit chaotic to do but my characters are chaotic so I guess it fits them the way I brain storm them.


We are always thinking meaning we are always coming up with new ideas. The best way to hold onto these ideas for later is to write them down because trust me, after school and the family coming in for Thanksgiving you are not going to remember that you wanted your main charter to find a puppy. SO WRITE IT DOWN. I personally love sticky notes. You can write the idea down and stick it right onto your computer or paper or even in the book you are reading so that when you look back there is your idea right in your face.
Another thing you can do is write in the margins. Write little notes about what your charter is feeling or any ideas or places you want to go in this part of your book. That way when you come back to that scene and want to add more you can see your notes and go “oh ya, he hates dogs.”

Remember to write. Even if you are stuck just write. Write about your day if you have to. The more you write the more it will come to you. Just give it time.

Lastly write down your goals as you go. I have one goal write now and that is to write 1,500-2,ooo words a day for 30 days. WRTE IT DOWN. Sure it may seem silly but when you are stuck and saying “I can’t do this. I give up.” You can look at your goals and think “well 1,500 words is like a page so I could try to write one more page.”

So all in all THINK. Never stop dreaming and never stop creating. Maybe one day your name will be on everyone else’s mind and you will be the inspiration.