Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Why Make a Book Playlist?

Since Monday was a no-work day, Michelle's blog is making a surprise appearance! 

I think every author who writes while listening to music should create a playlist of songs that represent the themes of their story. Whether you’re creating a short story, a novella, or a doorstop-sized tome, these songs could save you.

 According to iTunes, I have listened to the Princess Mononoke soundtrack more often than anything else in my entire library. Every once in a while, however, Hisaichi’s masterpiece just doesn’t cut it. His music is great for action and tension, but there aren’t many tracks that lend themselves to love scenes.

Last night I had to re-write a love scene my critique group said lacked the right emotion. I tried my regular music choices. The playful tones of Ella and Louis followed on the upbeat heels of Noah and the Whale, but none of the songs matched the emotion I was trying to fuse to the page.

I re-wrote that scene about four times before I realized that listening to happy love music was making me write things that didn’t make any sense. My heroine wasn’t giddy and excited to be in love. She was terrified to admit she even had these feelings.  

I dived into my saving grace: my book playlist. It has some intense, awesome songs on it, like Imagine Dragon’s Radioactive and MS MR’s Hurricane. Right near the end is Rosi Golan’s Hazy.

I turned up the volume and just listened to the words:

"What if I fall and hurt myself
Would you know how to fix me?
What if I went and lost myself
Would you know where to find me?
If I forgot who I am
Would you please remind me?
Oh, cause without you things go hazy"

I imagined my heroine and her love interest asking each other, “Do you know how to fix me? Can you remind me who I am?” These questions helped me find the right emotion for the scene. It was such a relief to feel like I was finally writing something good, instead of going in circles. 

If you’re stuck in a scene that doesn’t feel right, try being more purposeful with the music you listen to. It can help a lot!

Today Michelle ran into a truck (don't freak out, she was on foot), walked into a door handle, and then she tried to log in to her computer using her password as her username. 

It's going to be an interesting week. 

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