Wednesday, November 18, 2009

RTW: Muse-ic. See what I did there?

Road Trip Wednesday!

This week's question: What are the songs that represent/influence your WIP(s)?

I'm pretty sure I could talk about music and writing for pages and pages and pages, because this is something that I find interesting and that has always been a part of my writing process, ever since I was thirteen, typing away on one of those old macs that doesn't even have a color screen or a CD drive. (Yes, that's right: I was alive when those existed, even though I'm still a youngin'.)

So I'm going to babble, but I'll do it after I actually answer the question.

TM: "Mercy" by OneRepublic (really, it's most of the CD.)
LL: "Last of Days" by A Fine Frenzy
B-B: "Here Without You" by 3 Doors Down (...I'll explain later) and "Marchin On" by OneRepublic

(Some lyrics of Marchin On, just because I love them and because they embody this love story I'm concocting perfectly:

There's so many wars we've fought
There's so many things we're not
But with what we have, I promise you that
We're marching on

For all of the plans we've made
There isn't a flag I'd wave
Don't care if we bend, I'd sink us to swim
We're marching on
)

Okay. OneRepublic. I am not usually into that particular style of music (what would you call it? Alt/Pop? I don't know) but they have a cello and a piano and their music has this slow, sad vibe that worked really well for me, for some reason, at that particular time. I came up with the basic premise of The Manuscript while listening to "Mercy," and its tone while listening to "All Fall Down," and a central action sequence while listening to "Tyrant." Basically, TM would not exist without that CD, at least not in its present form.

Most of the time, whatever music I happen to be listening to makes me think of particular scenes. The basic premise and the general plot and stuff just appears out of nowhere, sometimes when I'm dead asleep (and then, when I write it down, it comes out in this stupid chicken scratch that I can't even read the next day, let alone make sense of), but sometimes when I'm standing in line at Noodles or in a van full of exhausted people on the way back from a retreat or watching reruns of primetime soap operas with my roommates, and a song comes up, I just see something happen in my head and a glorious light shines down from the heavens and a chorus of angels sings in harmony in the background and THE SCENE is born.

Okay, so it's not quite that dramatic. But, case in point: 3 Doors Down. I do not like 3 Doors Down, and never really have, although I don't think they're quite interesting enough to hate-- I just don't have strong feelings either way. But "Here Without You" came up on some girl's shuffle in that van I mentioned earlier and I suddenly found myself with THE SCENE-- that is, the first scene idea I had for a story idea I'd already been tossing around. And it wasn't the opening scene or anything, it was just the first time I'd envisioned either of the characters in a place at a certain time doing a certain thing. And that led to a week full of The Steady Advance Toward Carpal Tunnel, also known as "Oh. My. Gosh. Did I just write 12,000 words in five days?"

Anyway: it's not about the quality of music (though I do think that OR is good stuff. Did I mention there's a cello? CELLO), or what genre it is, it's about function. Do I see things when I listen to it? No? Then I probably won't listen to it that much.

Gosh, I sound like I'm on hallucinogens when I say stuff like that.

Suffice it to say that without OneRepublic's "Dreaming Out Loud" or Brandon Heath's "What If We" or everything by Ludovico Einaudi, my novel would be either nonexistent or in a much different form than it is now. And every day I'm poking around iTunes looking for my next novel to basically plop onto my word processor.

Because it's that easy, folks.

Only...not at all. At all.

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