Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Characters, Playlists, and Bolero

Recently, a crit partner was reading my revisions when she emailed me. "I was reading some Shaedes and Ravel's "Bolero" fits Xander, musically speaking. It's just so full of itself and even, perfect rhythm."

Now for those of you who don't know--which is everyone :)--Xander is an over the top, full of himself character in my novel Shaedes of Gray. I reflected on my friend's comment and thought, Wow. That piece of music is TOTALLY him. She sent me a link to the piece and as I listened, eyes closed, I couldn't help but smile. "Regal and seductive," she said. Oh ya. That was Xander to a tee.

I've posted before about music and inspiration. For a writer the two go hand in hand. Playlists are a norm in YA right now, and as an adult writer, I envy YA writers that they get the extra attention of showcasing the music that inspires them. My crit partner Sarah has corresponding playlists with her novel and my other partner, Suzanne (who writes adult as well as dabbles in YA) has incorporated the music of the 80's (Zepplin and The Runaways just to name a couple) into hers. And though I don't have a particular song or piece of music to correspond to each chapter, I did include a link to playlists on my website. The songs I listened to while writing helped me channel the emotions I needed to set up a scene or had lyrics that spoke to me. Like I've said before, I'm a sucker for 90's alternative. Give me an angsty, gravelly-voiced guy with greasing-looking hair and I'm gone! But classical music as well, has fueled my creativity in a way that no other music can. The emotions conveyed in classical pieces (Vivaldi, Brahms, Mozart, just to name some of my favs) have no rival. I could write all day with the right crescendo to guide me.

What do you listen to for inspiration? Do you include your playlists on your blog/website? Are you a YA author bent on discovering the next big thing in music? Or are you an adult writer like me, wishing your playlists had their own page at the back of your book?

9 comments:

Suzyhayze said...

Great post! Without music in my mind... i don't think I'd be able to write one single word!

Stephanie McGee said...

I generally listen to music while I write, but it's never anything specific. I just put my iPod on shuffle and go.

And why can't an adult book have a playlist? Who says YA gets to have all the fun? Or the monopoly on music?

The Empress said...

I have been influenced by music, from as far back as I remember. I wonder if that's the case with everyone. Even now, if I already am kind of in a funk at days' start, there are certain types of music I must stay away from...my feelings become too raw.

I remember when my oldest was only 3, we were in a store, and some slow, sustained violin music came on overhead. He suddenly burst into tears. "It's the music, " he cried. Oh, goodness...it is all in the genes.

Great post!

Bish Denham said...

I used to be able to study and school work with music blaring. Not any more. I like quiet.

Alexis said...

I think music is a great inspiration. Sometimes when I have writers block music is the only thing that helps. I look at music as if it almost alive!

K.M. Weiland said...

When my historical novel Behold the Dawn, set during the Third Crusade, released last fall, I included my playlist in my blog promotion. Lots of fun! I see no reason it needs to be limited to YA fiction.

Christine Fonseca said...

Music is a HUGE part of my process...HUGE. And the music I choose for a playlist AFTER the book is written is so totally different than what I listened to while writing...totally different.

Cindy said...

Music is a must for me when writing. Before I begin my first steps of plotting for my novel, I create a large playlist, usually close to 100 songs. Sometimes more.

This is my constant companion as I'm plotting and planning and researching. I use it for inspiration once I actually get to the writing part, too. But then I usually have one song that becomes the theme song for the whole book.

Sarah Bromley said...

You know me--I can't write without music. Great post, Amanda!