Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Musical Interludes

Many writers are happy writing in silence; I'm not one of them.  I tune it out while I'm writing and couldn't tell you exactly which song I was listening to at any given time, but music creates a white noise for me that blocks out all surrounding distractions.

The side effect is that some bands and singers will become irrevocably stuck on certain stories.

Currently I'm listening to a lot of Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit, because only when I'd just finished The First Steampunk Novella (yep, still untitled) did I realise how perfectly his singing and the songs fit the story.  (The downside was that Barnacled Warship prompted a whole sequel...)  The side effect is that now, whenever I hear them, I'm transported back to Niko and Kirill's world and probably will be for the foreseeable future.

The same goes for The Killers, whose Day and Age album became synonymous with a story called Chime that (big surprise) is unfinished, but I do intend to complete one day; I listened to the CD in my car not too long ago and almost immediately found myself immersed in the plot again.  Three Graces is similar but not quite so specific, evoked by The Naked and Famous and The New Pornographers--and apparently a very similar theme with band-names.

It's even less specific with Unravel.  It's songs here and there that, left alone, provide a brief flash of nostalgia but when put together into a playlist--an exercise I did for a challenge last year--bring back memories of things that people who don't actually exist did.  It's a peculiar feeling, but between the experience of selecting songs that most accurately fit the characters and the arranging of them into a playlist, I felt like I'd learned a little bit more about my boys and their story.

Has anyone else created a playlist for their stories and, if so, how did you find the challenge?  Enlightening or frustrating--and did it spark any fresh ideas?

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