Monday, August 4, 2008

A song for a character

I'm up later than usual tonight. I decided to make a soundtrack for my current WIP. I've always liked to listen to mood music when I write. When I was younger, I tended to pop in the Corrs first album, Forgiven Not Forgotten, or Sarah McLachlan's Surfacing Album. It wasn't until a few years ago when I was reading a book called Plot & Structure that I had ever heard of anyone actually making a "soundtrack" to a novel. The author calls it a brainstorming tool.

While writing my last book, I did create a soundtrack and discovered I could still write well to pop and R&B songs. So, this time, I went through my CD and itunes library and picked out several songs, but I got inspired to give each character a playlist and make a special folder just for this novel in my itunes library. It was interesting to do because I realized each character had a mood. One of my suspects is into early jazz (Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday) and her songs are moody and melancholic. All of her songs feature lost love, wrong love, or unrequited love.

Both my hero, Sebastian, and the victim in this book both favor pop. Their songs are overtly sensual and in-your-face. Sebastian favors Usher and Justin Timberlake while the victim favors Fergie. My heroine likes Natalie Imbruglia's first album.

I had never before considered having songs for each character. But, I find that now that I've thought about it, I like it. There is a sense of individuality in the songs, something which I hope will come through in the writing.

Do you pick certain CDs or songs for your novels? And, do certain songs specifically reflect a character or do they tend to reflect on the relationship or the tone of the novel as a whole?


Chaeya said...

Since my character is a musician and winds up on another planet becoming a pop star of sorts, music is a big part of it. Since I am a professional singer, I am planning on writing and recording a soundtrack for the music. While I'm writing, if she's traveling or out in nature I listen to more new age like Diane Arkenstone and a slew of other like music and if she's performing I listen to everything from Depeche Mode, Delerium, Enigma and other 80s dance music. If it's action, fight scenes and such, I have a lot of soundtrack music like Pirates of the Caribbean, Vangelis, Hans Zimmer. I subscribe to Rhapsody. It's $120 a year so you can listen to what you want for free and if you choose to buy songs they're 89 cents.


Vivienne Westlake said...

Chaeya, I was actually just thinking about that when I woke up this morning...having some good instrumental or soundtrack music for the suspenseful scenes. I find it so interesting the wide range of music we can have to get us in the mood for one book.

Thanks for stopping by!