In the same way a song can make you think of a person, place or time, it can also inspire writers to develop chapters. Music can bring chapters, characters and moments to life. It is a great aid whilst developing your story.
The connection writers develop for their creations is personal, like a parent to their child. This is why sometimes criticism (no matter how constructive) can hurt. But, this post isn’t about that. This post is about the connection writers make with music.
Writing a novel is a long process. You develop a relationship with the characters, their environment and experience their highs and lows. I struggle with writing horror because I frighten myself. Then I can’t sleep!
In the same way a song can make you think of a person, place or time, it can also inspire writers to develop them. Music can destroy writers block and bring to life chapters, characters, places and moments.
Currently, the song that is really inspiring me to write a horror – if I can get over my fear of my own mind – is Ruelle’s “Monsters”.
I haven’t given up on this idea. Originally the idea was for the MC to be haunted by a demon (a mix of the urban legend of Slender Man, the manga character Orichimaru from Naruto and the Goblin King from Labyrinth). Although I am still struggling to get the outline right, I am now swaying towards this novel being part of my shifter series.
My story’s playlist
As I edited Drift, now Jewel of the Sea, for the umpteenth time, I created a playlist for the chapters. This playlist was added to Wattpad using YouTube links as I worked on improving the story. Some songs have been there since the start whereas others got added as the story developed.
Click here to listen to the playlist on YouTube:
- Taylor Swift – Everything Has Changed ft. Ed Sheeran
- Leona Lewis – Run
- Mazzy Star – Fade Into You
- Lykke Li – Little Bi
- Hunter Hayes – Invisible
- Christina Aguilera – Beautiful
- Evanescence – Bring Me To Life
- Birdy – Wings
- Coldplay – Yellow
- All Saints – Pure Shores
- Angel Olsen – Windows
- Wilco – Kamera
- Seafret – Skimming Stones
- Lauren Aquilina – Ocean <related chapter now cut>
- Dorothy – Gun In My Hand
- Katy Perry – Rise
- Ellie Goulding – Starry Eyed
- Ed Sheeran – Give Me Love
- John Legend – All Of Me
- Safety Suit – Anywhere But Here
- Demi Lovato – Stone Cold
- The Paper Kites – Bloom
- The Ligthouse and the Whalers – I want to Feel Alive
- Amer Run – I Found
- Evanescence – Bring me to life
- Ed Sheeran – Thinking Our Loud
Sometimes I hear songs and they inspire me to write (see 7, 8, 14 and 15). They draw up pictures and feelings in my mind and drive my imagination wild.
Other songs, I hear after I’ve written the story, usually whilst editing. They remind me of the vision I had and help me focus on what I need the chapter to deliver (see 12, 13, 20, 22 and 24).
I’m not a fan of editing. I spend way too much time being critical of my writing and ripping it apart. I don’t enjoy the process and if I could afford to pay someone to do it for me, I would! Having a playlist does make it a little more enjoyable and you can create one of all your favourite songs to keep you motivated.
When I first started writing Drift, “Starry Eyed” by Ellie Goulding was playing on the radio and resonated with the way the story felt to me.
Once I finished editing Drift, I found that the song that resonated with the overall feeling of the story had changed. The song is now “I Want To Feel Alive” by The Lighthouse and the Whaler.
Perhaps it’s a result of how the story has evolved or how my music tastes have changed over the years. The bottom line is, music fuels my imagination. It certainly makes editing more enjoyable.
Please share your playlists with me
If you have a writing playlist, please share it with me. I would love to listen to and to know why those songs made your playlist.
NB Previously posted: Writers and YouTube Playlists — Ally Aldridge
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