I adore the way different art forms compliment each other in the creative world. As a designer I have to see a scene visually in my head as I write it in order to understand the lines, textures, and colors of characters, settings, and emotions. Another beloved partner in my writing process is music.
A LESSON IN CONCISE STORYTELLING: “Augie Nieto,” by Five For Fighting and Taylor Swift’s, “Love Story,” each tell a complete tale in under four minutes apiece. Often for me, a line in a song will give me an “Ah ha!” moment for a character or action. Maybe we should start singing our loglines.
THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG: It is great fun to find a specific song to convey the emotions between two characters in love. “Far Away,” by Nickelback, and “Falling In,” by Lifehouse are currently turning my characters to mush in different stories. Breakup songs can be cool as well. “Not Meant To Be,” by Theory of a Deadman hits that note.
FEEL THE BEAT: I like to assign each chapter of my MS a song that matches its emotional context, action, or intention. Listening to the playlist can take you on an auditory journey though your story. You hear beats, builds, tension, conflict, joy, sorrow, and resolution. The playlist supplies a textural soundscape that hopefully matches your character and story arcs. When I have trouble finding a piece of music to compliment a chapter, more often than not, it’s the chapter that has issues.
MIX IT UP: When you are finding musical matches for your stories it is important to tap into multiple genres. I have never heard a more beautiful song than the classical piece, “Siegfried Idyll” by Wagner. “Stand” by Rascal Flats and “Live Like You Were Dying,” by Tim McGraw are fantastic country songs that scream to be character anthems.
How do you use music in your writing process?
Note: The links will take you to iTunes so you can taste snippets of these super songs.