And That’s the Name of That Tune

Take away a chatty girl’s ability to talk, and it’s fun to watch her climb the walls.

Well…not if you’re that chatty girl.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I’m contending with this right now. Doctor’s orders. No talking for 72 hours. Sure, I work alone at home during the day, but no phone calls, no calling out to the dog, no yammering to myself and no belting out along with Amy Winehouse blaring out of my speakers at this moment. And if you don’t know how tempted I am to do this, then you don’t know me that well.

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Music and writing…we go together. Like peanut butter and chocolate. I can’t remember a time I didn’t compose verse to music. And when I write, the mood must be set just perfectly. Certain artists are better for writing than others. As of late, I find David Gray, Avett Brothers and Crowded House great for some work. Fiona Apple, Iron & Wine and Enigma for others. Black Keys and Amy Winehouse when I need a certain spirit and …MMMPH.

And I find it amusing because back in high school and college, it was the Beatles. All of the time. I could type to Rubber Soul like you wouldn’t believe – U.S. edition. Sorry, I can’t even listen to the original U.K. edition. The difference in song order and inclusion throws me off completely.

So now as I await my editor’s feedback on my book The Muse Unlocked, I’m working on web content for the book/author website to come. And that has to mean playlists for me. I know as a reader I really appreciate hearing the soundtrack that the author imagined as they wrote and threaded the story. And I’m looking forward to also soliciting for readers’ own songs that they imagined as they read certain scenes. I think the first author I remember doing this really well and interacting with readers was Stephanie Meyer with the Twilight series. It’s how I discovered Muse. (So it wasn’t a complete loss, was it now? No, it wasn’t.)

I started putting my playlists together while I was writing the book, so I really did listen to the songs as I moved the story forward.  And there are, in fact, a few scenes that are specifically occurring as a song or whole album is playing in the background, so music is and will always be an integral part in anything I do. For me, including this within the process made the scenes very real. I am curious to hear from other writers about what kind of role music played in the development of their own stories, if any.

Since I was a kid, I see everything like one big movie and everyone knows that a good movie has a stellar soundtrack and score. I can’t see something without imagining music behind it. Not to mention the fact that if Name That Tune were still on the air and didn’t include music after 2000, I would kick everyone’s ass. I can name a song at the drop of a single note or two. It’s a freaky talent I haven’t been able to monetize into any useful skill set or payoff value. (Know of anything???)

I suppose I should return to my mission at hand. I think we’ll leave Amy for a bit and move to my favorite angry young man who I suppose now would be called a little bit less angry old man, Elvis Costello.

Soon, the music will be playing. Patience, grasshoppers. Patience.

Happy reading!
ck

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