If there was a soundtrack to go with my life, it’d be pretty damn diverse. Everything from Elvis – I can’t help falling in love with you (my grandfather’s favorite song) to Marilyn Manson – Personal Jesus. Other than books—and food—music is my thing. Oh. And animals. And the outdoors…
Okay. I have a lot of things.
Seriously though, music is a huge part of my existence. I can think back to most of the crucial events in my life and tie them to a song. Sometimes it’s a tune from that particular time period. Other times it’s something newer. Something that reminds me of the event. It could be anything from a single line or chorus, to the singer’s voice. Disturbed – Inside The Fire reminds me of a very dear friend. Not only does the laugh in the beginning of the song sound just like his, but he took his own life two years ago.
When I think about my husband, it’s Vain – Without You. He played it for me one of the first few times we hung out. When I hear Loudon Wainwright – Dead Skunk—and yes I have this on my Zune—I think of the trip Hershey Park my family took when I was twelve. There was a skunk, a Nun, and some candy bars. Don’t ask.
When I hear Muse – Supermassive Black Hole, I think of vampires. Playing baseball.
Come on. You know you do, too. No one’s judging. Promise.
This applies to my writing as well. Scenes play out in my head like a movie. And everyone knows all good movies need a killer soundtrack. A playlist for perfection. For my latest fight scenes, it’s been Marilyn Manson – Ka-Boom and Limp Bizkit – Break Stuff. Buckcherry – Bliss is all about my hero and heroine. And Ke$ha – Blow helped me write an awesome chase scene revolving around a rave. (PS if you haven’t seen the video—watch it. Funny as hell)
If a scene isn’t working for me, it’s usually because I haven’t found the right music to go with it. Eight times out of ten, if I don’t find a suitable tune, I scrap the scene. Sounds drastic, eh? But it’s seriously how my brain works. I did NaNo a few years ago and it wasn’t until recently that I figured out why the manuscript never worked. Every word was forced, and when I went to revise, I found myself wanting to guzzle the stuff under the sink rather than work on it. I was never able to come up with a decent playlist. I never felt the characters.
Which digs deeper. To create a playlist for a WIP, at least for me, I need to get into my characters heads. I need to know them. If I don’t know them, and I can’t feel them, then I sure as hell can’t pick out music for them. If I can’t pick out music for them, then I can’t write them.
What about you guys? Do you write like this? Live like this?
Share so I don’t feel like such an incredible goober :)