I can’t write with music on.
I don’t know why, and don’t judge me. I just can’t. It ruins my concentration and I get sucked into the musicality of what is playing and I can never finish a piece and that’s why I’m not published and …
I may be over-exaggerating.
I hear from many writers how they sit down in their favorite spot in their favorite chair with their favorite snack and play their favorite music and then and only then can they begin penning their masterpiece. Some of them even make soundtracks for each individual story they are working on and play them at the appropriate places to inspire the appropriate writing.
Not so with this chick. I can’t even write a blog post with music on.
I know I’m weird. I already talked about that a few posts ago, and just for the record, if you are one of the people who can write with music and does make soundtracks for each of your pieces, I am not judging you. I envy you.
Because I wish I could draw inspiration from the music while it’s playing. It would certainly make the writing process less boring. I wish I could have swing music blasting from my speakers when Laura and Thomas go out on the town. I wish I could play tense songs when Holly is being chased by the kidnapper. I wish I could have soft love songs playing in the background while I write Derek and Candace’s wedding – doh! I just gave some of it away!
Well you probably already figured that anyway. But you don’t know the ending! Muahaha!
I have a different way of looking at the writing soundtrack. My characters directly interact with whatever song I happen to be listening to at the time they are floating around in my head. Even if the song is completely out of their time period (like “Bad Romance” and the 1940s) they still sing along and yell at/serenade each other with the lyrics.
For example. Currently in my car is a mix of Glee: The Music, Volume 3 and Journey to Regionals. The characters about whom I am thinking of late are Laura and Thomas. THeir setting? 1940s. The first song on my mix is a cover of “Hello, Goodbye.” L&T sing this song in the scene I am planning right now. It is certainly NOT a 40s song, but who cares? It’s my story.
So what so I get from Thomas singing this song to Laura completely out of their time frame? Instead of “Hey, Lola,” he says, “Hey Laura” and changes all the other lyrics around to fit her. This is molto importante because she is furious with him right now, and without the personalized apology, she would take much longer to come around to forgiving him. Will it play out exactly this way in the novel? Of course not, L&T are not sixties hippies. Will he serenade her with a personalized song to regain her trust and good-will? You can bet your bottom dollar, he will!
As the CD continues, so does the story. When there is a passionate love ballad, they sing it to each other (aaw/gag). When we get to “A House is Not a Home” Laura makes the fateful decision to find the family who abandoned her. When we get to the Journey medleys, L&T sing “Anyway You Want It/ Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin'” in a performance for their music class to stick it to one of his ex-girlfriends who doesn’t understand that he put a ring on Laura so she can’t have him anymore.
So there you have it. Though I don’t use the soundtrack in the conventional way most writers speak of, my music does inspire me; it dictates and aids my plots. Let me tell you, three hours of driving and singing every day all summer has given me plenty of time to plan and work out kinks.
What about you? How do you use music when you write?
Before I forget
Ollin has bestowed upon me The Spotlight Award. Well, shucks, Ollin, I didn’t have a speech prepared, but thanks so much! I pass it on to
Love you, ladies!
Melissa at The Undeveloped Story hosted a Poetry Weekend. I know I’m really cutting it close with the end of the weekend being about three and a half hours away as I post this, but here is what I came up with. It’s really short because I don’t usually write poetry, but I gave it my best shot. Thanks for the fun challenge!
I don't want you to ask me anymore.
We talked about it.
You're annoying me.
The more we discuss it,
The more it chafes,
The more it bothers.The more it hurts.The more it reminds me.I don't want to remember.I want to forget.Forget you.
Forget how you treated me.Leave it alone.
Everything is fine.
Copyright Rosemary O’Connor. All rights reserved.