Thursday, February 25, 2010

where the music takes us

As writers we all have our own unique ways of learning more about our characters. We also use very basic tools to make us feel the emotions we want for our characters. One thing I do is scope out where I think my character might go, if she is an avid musician I'll go see live music play some place nearby to learn what an event would be like. If she loves coffee shops I'll visit a coffee shop and pretend I am her to get a feel of how I would act. It is nice to live in the life of your character, it only makes them more real.

I have recently found my playlist for my character Lauren in Finding Me... here it is

Cut by Plumb
The Moment I said it by Imogen Heap
Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap
Bird of the Summer by A Fine Frenzy
Swan Song by A Fine Frenzy
Walking on Air by Kerli
The Creationist by Kerli
Droplets (feat. Jason Reeves) by Colbie Caillat
Imaginary by Evanescene

Music can take you almost anywhere, make you feel sadness, happiness, betrayal... that is the true beauty. Some of these songs may mean something entirely different for you than they do for me. Lauren's song is Cut by Plumb, the feel of the song and lyrics define her. I wasn't even thinking of giving her a song, but thanks to pandora.com they put it on my playlist and I immediately loved it. As for Bird of the Summer and the Swan Song I love a Fine Frenzy and they give me the feel of Laurens personality.

Do you have your playlist created? What works best for you when creating your character? What kind of feelings are you striving for the reader to feel?

22 comments:

Kimberly said...

That is very neat & never thought of it that way before.. =)

Christine Danek said...

I have a playlist for every character I create. That is how I write I can see my characters when I listen to certain songs. They have to hit me right though. I have my playlist posted on my blog for my current novel. I love every song on it and I could tell you which song inspired which scene (if that makes sense--it's early I'm still waking up). For example the first song on my playlist inspired my funeral scene (the first snipit I posted). I cried as I wrote it listening to the song. It fit perfectly. Great Post!

Aubrie said...

Music can definitely work for inspiration! Ofcourse I'm going to say that because I'm a professional flutist! But anyways, I like listening to techno when I write sci fi, it seems to help me get in the groove and think of futuristic things.

Jonathon Arntson said...

That's some great Imogen Heap lovin'! "Hallelujah" is my favorite. A Fine Frenzy was one of my better bargain finds a few years ago. If you haven't heard Ingrid Michaelson, you should.

Bish Denham said...

I don't have play-lists for my characters as music, particularly music with words, is a huge distraction to me when I'm writing. I need silence. Music for my characters comes later, much later.

Jody Hedlund said...

I like your idea! Although it would be a little harder for me since I write historical fiction! But I do have a Pandora station for my current book. And it is very inspiring!

Summer said...

You know I do! I currently have a playlist for my 2008 Nano that has 136 songs, I swear that each and every one means something to the book! It's just so emotionally complex that there are many moods to fill...

Southpaw said...

No playlist here, I tend to prefer people sounds, like the kids down the street playing ball, the trash truck chugging by, that sort of thing.

Jen said...

I love your playlist Summer... that is what made me think about my own!!!

I hear you Jody, but at least you still have some music you can listen to for the historical fiction!

Southpaw I equally love people sounds as well, I love nice summer days with the birds chirping and the children's laughter as they play on the swings... those months are approaching!!

Crystal Cook said...

I do have a playlist for my book, but not individual characters, that's a good idea. Love Evanescence, I just had to look that up on my ipod so I could spell it, LAME!

Amna said...

Hehe, I think I may be the only one who needs silence. XD

Shelley Sly said...

Awesome, I love Plumb.

I don't necessarily have a playlist for any characters, but I know what kind of music they like. Unfortunately for me, some of my characters' tastes differ greatly from mine, but I'll listen to some songs anyway because they like them. :) Weird, I know.

missivysparkle said...

I do the same thing... I have play lists for each chapter I am writing. It really helps getting you into the mood and into that character.

Love the play list you have!

robby (once upon a book blog/fourteen years) said...

What a wonderful playlist! :]
When I'm beginning a story, working through it, I just always imagine that I'm stepping inside my character's shoes. I am them and they are me and, most of the time, it's that simple.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Oh yes yes yes! I love the way music inspires me to write. I also have a separate playlist for different manuscripts. It's a beautiful thing. But I must say, I only recognized a couple of the bands you listed, and none of the songs! I'm definitely intrigued.

Kimberly Franklin said...

Music is one of my biggest inspirations. And the louder the better. It doesn't really matter what, just something has to be playing!

And it's weird because I usually tend to listen to the same songs over and over and over and over... I think you get the point. LOL.

Guinevere said...

I don't use playlists for the characters themselves, but I do make a playlist for each novel to help me find the right "feel". It can help me get into the right mood, and I use it to connect with times past in my life.

Lisa and Laura said...

We have a few songs on our playlist and are both inspired by Kelly Clarkson's song (not sure of the exact title, but the one about belonging together??). Anyways, it's on the Glee soundtrack and when we hear it, we want to write a book that makes people feel the same way we feel when we hear that song. If that's not inspiration, I don't know what is!

DL Hammons said...

I don't have a playlist specific too my novel, but one I use when I'm writing. I call it Comfortably Numb. :)

Kaylie said...

I don't have a playlist yet, but I've thought about it. The Rocky theme and some Simon and Garfunkel songs will be there for sure, but now I've got to think of some current tunes to go with those.

Ashley Stone said...

wow what fabulous creativity! Sounds like you are really getting to know these characters. I love those songs BTW. Lauren's someone I'd like to get to know.

Christ is Write. said...

So true! Music can be great inspiration for writing. I love what you said about going where your character would go and seeing what she would do. Great idea, thanks for sharing! :)