Monday, April 22, 2013

Music and Writing

Plenty of people listen to music while they write. I make 'soundtracks' to my novels. While I don't necessarily listen to music while writing the rough draft, I often do listen to it while editing or rewriting in order to get me back to the same head space where I was when I originally wrote the scene. Or, I'll listen to the music and jot down ideas and images, then write in silence.

I just finished revising a YA novel. I added nearly 30 songs to this novel's 'soundtrack,' but felt that during revisions I needed a few more songs, preferably released this year or last year, and capturing the feel of the novel overall. Plus, I really needed to procrastinate before I tackled revisions.

The main character is eighteen years old and prone to enjoying alternative music (much like me, ha). I spent some time stumbling around iTunes and found The Graveyard Girl by M83. I love Midnight City, so I gave Graveyard Girl a whirl. It's reminiscent of the 80's in sound and subject (the lyrics even refer to Molly Ringwald). It's angsty, it reminds me of the movie The Craft, and my inner 15 year old loved it. I probably would have really enjoyed this song up to the age of 20 or so (and even a ways beyond), and so I felt it suited my 18 year old character well.

I also stumbled across a new artist, Jeremy Messersmith, and his song A Girl, A Boy, and a Graveyard. The album's cover art is adorable and a bit tongue-in-cheek, the song has a folksy, sorrowful sound that his voice is well suited for, and the lyrics are pretty darn nice. Plus, the song is about a relationship, and death, which are a couple of things my main character is wallowing in.

I would've never come across these songs if I hadn't been looking for something more to add to my 'soundtrack' (also, procrastination isn't always a bad thing). These songs, and others, helped me remember my adolescent angst and pour it into the novel.

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