Monday, October 11, 2010

Music thine Muse

First off, allow me to start this blog post with an apology. Last week I missed my post because we had family come in from out of town and it was a crazy busy time for me.

This week I chose to blog about music. Music is intrinsic to my writing process without it, I find my words fall flat, my scenes are less dimensional and my characters don't seem like themselves. I, like some of my fellow writers use music to set scenes, motivate us and just keep us in the zone.

For my current work in progress, Dead Before Midnight, I often rely on music to help me get in my character's heads and set the tone of the scene. When I listen to the blues, it connects me to Derek, who doesn't find the blues painful or heartbreaking, but rather uplifting. I tend to switch it up to jazz and some old school Edith Piaf for Alex, because surprisingly, the often times complex tonality of jazz music fits her rather colorful personality.

When the two of them together, I find that classical music works best. Hauntingly beautiful nocturnes best illustrate all the things left unsaid. While during a fight seen, I find myself listening to Do-wop (50s and 60s pop) like The Chiffons, The Shirelles, and The Shang-ri-las.

Since the beginning of time, music has been able to move writers to create beautiful words and painful moments. And I find that this is increasingly true the more I write. Each book has it's own soundtrack, each character their own theme.

So the next time you want to get into a writer's head, ask them what's on their soundtrack...you might just be able to figure out what motivates your favorite characters.

And now one last thing. I leave you with a piece of music that helped me write a zombie fight scene (I kid you not).


2 comments:

Nerine Dorman said...

Music is central to my writing process. I must admit to having developed a most unfortunate attachment to Type O Negative, which I use as a filter when working within a noisy environment (be it to drown out incidental noise on the train or at home, if the husband is watching cartoons). But some of my favourite music for writing includes Hans Zimmer's film soundtracks, Dead Can Dance and Siouxsie and the Banshees.

Ashley said...

Good point Nerine.I forgot to mention its noise canceling abilities.