(Bonus points if you can tell me the name of this song ^^^)
Acknowledgements: Today’s post is inspired by Rhiann Wynn-Nolet‘s post, “Inspired by Adolescent Boys (and Music).”
A lot of my writer friends say they like to listen to music as they write or before they write, and some authors have even gone as far as to thank their favorite band in the acknowledgements. This makes total sense to me, because whether or not they were ever aware of it, those artists really were instrumental–little pun there–in the writing process.
As weird as this might sound, I like to pretend that when I listen to music, the inspiration that drove its artist to create that song is flowing through me, opening up my mind and preparing it to receive fresh new ideas of my own. In Twelfth Night, Shakespeare wrote “If music be the food of love, play on.” And if what I believe is true, and music is also the soul of inspiration, then let’s ROCK ON while we’re at it.
Then again, I’m a little bit obsessive when it comes to my favorite things. (Just ask my agent about my epic, embarrassing geekout when he even mentioned the TV show Firefly.) Every time I start a new book, I create an iTunes playlist of songs that remind me of its characters, setting and theme.
I’ve even gone as far as to name each of my MS’s after a song. (For example: the working title of my first book is SWEET CHILD OF MINE. Followed by my current WIP, HEY BIG SPENDER. And the next book I’ll be writing, which is called CRADLE TO THE GRAVE.) I realize that these titles may or may not make it through the publishing wringer, but to me these labors of love will always be SCOM, and HBS and C2G. At least in my romantic little writerly heart.
So in the interest of sharing what inspires me, here is a random sampling of songs on my current playlist, which is named after my WIP “Hey Big Spender”:
The Ballad of Mona Lisa, by Panic! At the Disco
Portions of Foxes, by Rilo Kiley
Poker Face, by Lady Gaga
Nail in My Coffin, by the Kills
How You Like Me Now, by the Heavies
I Like to Bang My Head, by Lena
99 Problems, by Hugo
Dream, by Priscilla Ahn
Good Gone Girl, by Mika
Next Girl, by The Black Keys
Mouth Shut, by The Veronicas
Dancing Through Life, by The Original Broadway Cast of Wicked
Hey Big Spender, by The Cast of Sweet Charity
(It’s eclectic and weird, I know. But then, so am I.)
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11 thoughts on “The Voices in My Head Sound Like Guns N’ Roses”
I think eclectic and weird are good! SCOM is a guilty pleasure of mine, I will confess… I cranked it in the car recently and my younger daughter said “Mom? That’s a ‘rock’ song, right?” Um, yeah. We don’t call her Queen of the Rhetorical Question for nothing. Anyway, thank you so much for joining the blog hop this week. I hope you make it a habit!
I’ll certainly try. Thanks for the inspiration!
I love this –> “I like to pretend that when I listen to music, the inspiration that drove its artist to create that song is flowing through me, opening up my mind and preparing it to receive fresh new ideas of my own.” It’s sort of like tapping into a musical version of the collective unconscious.
Don’t feel bad – I’m also known to have massive geekouts at the mention of Firefly. Also, I’m dying of curiosity – what *is* that song?
OH. Right. LOL, the one in the picture. I actually have no idea. I was hoping one of you guys could read music so you could tell me. Heh.
I love that #ThursdaysChildren posts are now inspiring other #ThursdaysChildren posts… good on you!
Yeah, I was just saying on Rhiann’s blog that I think books should come with YouTube playlists or at least recommended songs… for those who really want to get into characters heads and add another sense to the experience.
Sound and music plays a role in my WIP, but I find it so hard to recreate what I’m hearing on the page. Nothing like the real thing!
Hope to see you here next week.
Thanks! I know what you mean about recreating. That’s why I just try to go with the general vibe, i.e. cheekiness, petulance, urgency, etc.
I’m totally loving the music inspiration in these posts. I don’t have “playlists”, so to speak, but music definitely helps set the tone. There’s nothing like writing a battle scene to Korn.
Great song list – and I love that your books are named after songs. For some reason the soundtrack of mine is almost all U2 – something about their music really sparks something in my writing.
And can I just say – Firefly – oh Firefly – you ended too soon. *sheds fan tear…*
Another one with a cool playlist! I really need to make myself one. I like that you named your books are named after songs too.
Great post. Have you heard of the Vitamin Quartet? They’re this amazing string quartet that does versions of classic rock songs and their cover of “Sweet Child of Mine” is ace! Thanks for joining us on Thursday’s Children! Kristina x
LOL, actually I have. I DJ’d my brother’s wedding and like 90% of the soundtrack was VSQ. I love them, because you can rock out to Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and still be classy at the same time. And you’re right. Their version of SCOM is amazing.
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