Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tidbit Tuesday: Music & playlists

I really thought my ISP wouldn't let me post again. Arghh! But thank goodness it went through. So what did i do so as not to blow my top off? I listened to some music. That's my usual go-to solution to get me to move along when the going is tedious (such as, when I'm cooking!).

I don't own a music player/MP3 player/Ipod/whatever music gadget. Mine is just my trusty Nokia E63 phone that carries all my music and ebooks and sometimes-WIP on its memory card. I can say - my phone is my lifeline. Whenever/wherever I'm stuck, there's always something to do on there.

That being said, I have about 200 songs on there (I know, not much, but it takes me through) and the music player is set to Shuffle. So I never really know what playlist I'll land when I start.

Yesterday looked something like that - Linkin Park, ABBA, Gabrielle, Bonnie Tyler, Roxette, 50 Cents, Britney Spears, Wham!, Michael Jackson, Tiesto, David Guetta, Akon... among others. Eclectic mix - yeah, I know. I don't have set tastes for music, though I have a pronounced slant towards 80s/90s music.

Getting to the point - there was  a sequence when the following songs played one after the other:

You've Got A Way - Shania Twain
Somewhere I belong - Linkin Park
Sometimes - Gabrielle
Total Eclipse of the Heart - Bonnie Tyler

I couldn't help but think each one of these songs could inspire a story.

You've Got A Way ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cytj0nrLaCs )was on the soundtrack for Notting Hill, one of the movie's love themes. Perfect song for a love scene/relationship arc culmination.

Somewhere I Belong ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsCD5XCu6CM )screamed rebellion and identity crisis, trying to find your place. Just think of these lyrics "Crawling in my skin, these wounds they will not heal..." Powerful character arc indeed!

Sometimes ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reL3IHlPcjQ ) was on the soundtrack for Love Actually. A song reminiscent of a couple who've been together for a long time but there are still ups and downs in their life - "sometimes I love you, sometimes I don't. But I never, ever, never want to let you go..."

Total Eclipse of the Heart ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6gaaUMvyJs )... Well, I'll admit there were times I've bawled aloud to that song (okay, run screaming, people!). Absolute perfection for a chick-lit story! "...every now and then I get a little bit tired just listening to the sound of my tears... Once upon a time I was falling in love, now I'm only falling apart..."

Are you inspired by songs?

Many writers use songs as a story's soundtrack, the music supplementing the creative process by putting you in the 'right mood'. I'm no different.

When I was writing The Other Side, the song that kept much of the story going was "If there's any justice" by Lemar ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0K3QXZDmk-s ) - the potent lyrics being "...if there's any justice in the world, I would be your man, you would be my girl." That's what Lara and Eric, the couple in that story, were about - lost love who finds itself again after a decade.

Light My World found its own perfect song - "If you're not the one" by Daniel Bedingfield ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYeiyp3x8pQ ). That whole song was pertinent to the love story. 2 halves of a same whole find each other but have trouble coming to grips with this startling realisation, yet their hearts knew what was happening all the way.

Storms in a Shot Glass found its music theme too, the day I listened to "Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4W5dYw1eQuM). At first that it fitted Jane, the closed-off heroine, to a T, but then I realized that in his own way, Michael, the wary and cold tycoon hero, echoed these lyrics too. "Closed off from love, I didn't need the pain... Time starts to pass before you know it you're frozen..." That's how both start this story, and when they fall, hard, in love, this line couldn't have spelt it better - "...And it's draining all of me, though they find it hard to believe, I'll be wearing these scars for all to see..."

For my current WIP, I've come across a song that so showcases their romance's arc I was taken aback. Which one is it? Join me next week, same slot, to find out! I'll also put up some other songs I'm using as the soundtrack for this story.

Have you ever been inspired by songs and their lyrics, found a character's turmoil echoed in the words put down on music?

From Mauritius with love,


Disclaimer: All songs' and lyrics' copyright held by their respective record companies and author/songwriters/composers. Lyrics used for illustrative purposes on this post.


Cait said...

I have playlists for every single thing I work on. Sometimes I'll swap songs in or out as the story or character changes. Sometimes, I'll discover a new song that is perfect for an action sequence.

My playlists in total are usually about 2 hours, and it'll have everything from metal to a capella, to movie scores.

Natasha said...

Definitely! My books is like a movie. I have a song for the introdutory (you know when a movie starts and the credits start at the beginning and the music fades away and the movie begins?) And then for all parts of the story. When they meet, when they do something together. When they realise they are in love, love making scene ect. Music for me is so important. In the first story I wrote at the crisis moment I picked the song by Keith Urban " Tonight I wanna Cry" I had my hero at home in his den drinking a whisky and the heroine sitting on her bed looking out the window and I could picture it just like itd look in a movie.

Zee Monodee said...

Hey Cait

Yeah, you do work with playlists! It's amazing, innit, how sometimes you land on that perfect song/tune that conveys all you wanna put across?

Lol, seems like movie scores are a hit with us!


Zee Monodee said...

Hiya Natasha

Lol, I thought I was the only one who had the 'opening like a movie' score!

So true that sometimes a song's lyrics can give you such a clear picture of your characetrs and where they're at.

Thanks girlie!!