Friday, December 6, 2013

Music and Writing

At 103,644 words, my tenth draft of TBW is finished. Reward: my favorite chocolate and Laini Taylor's latest offering, NIGHT OF CAKE AND PUPPETS, await.

But today, I want to discuss finding inspiration in music. There are a lot of people who listen to music while they write. I am not one of those people. However, over the course of writing TBW, I'd occasionally hear a song that would remind me of a character and flood me with insight into who she was, and it was always the same character. She isn't the POV character. In fact, she started out with a minor role, but over the course of many drafts, she's become my favorite of the three main characters.

As I hadn't experienced this musical phenomena while writing any of my other stories, I'd attributed it to the character and let it go at that. Having access to music that drops me into the story has been great for revision.

But then, yesterday, I heard a song and thought, "That's HIM. He doesn't have a name yet, and I'm going to kill him off, but THAT is my character." This character had a minor role in my first draft of Nightingale (so minor that I didn't bother to name him), but now I'm excited to see how his story evolves. :o)

And now I'm curious. Does music play a role in your creative process?

16 comments:

  1. With my English teaching background, I've always considered songs to be mini-stories, so I'm not at all surprised when writers use music or have music as inspiration for writing. But so far, for me, music isn't part of my writing. I get too tangled in the notes, the lyrics, and the instruments for it to be of help to my writing process. :-)

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    1. I feel the same way. Songs are mini-stories or poems; at least, the best ones are.

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  2. Good for you for rewarding yourself on your finished draft! I don't listen to music while I write either, but I've had a similar experience to you. I've comes across songs that suit a character or their particular experience - it's usually random, while listening to the radio in my car while my thoughts are drifting, and it just clicks.

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    1. Yes, that's how it happens for me, too!

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  3. Congratulations on finishing the tenth draft! I just put away the first draft and have a least bunches more to go!

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  4. Congrats on finishing. This does call for a celebration and a little break.

    Music is important to me and I do associate songs with certain manuscripts or characters.

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  5. I always play Christmas music when I write about Christmas. Other than that, no.

    =)

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    1. Yet you always coordinate your posts with the music playing on your blog. :o)

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  6. Oh yes, I especially found this true when I wrote more YA. Pop radio stations SPOKE TO ME. ha ha. :) It's harder since I've been focusing on MG. There aren't a lot of songs that sound like middle schoolers wrote them, unfortunately. ha!

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  7. Yes, some of my stories have strong connections to songs.

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    1. Cool. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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  8. Loved hearing how music grabbed you and tied into your writing. Music plays a big part in my writing. I always listen to music when I write. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. Thank you! I rarely listen to it while I'm writing. Like Barbara, I tend to get caught up in the music.

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