Friday, October 1, 2010

Here I Go Again On My Oww-ow-own

If I sat around, always waiting on inspiration to strike, I would probably write once a week.  Tops.  Sure, I have an outline for my WIP.  Scene summaries.  Character sketches.  That doesn’t mean I can actually write the next scene.  As athletes call it, I have to be in “the zone” to write good fiction.  I get there through music. 
I have written entire scenes that came to me just because of a song.  If I’m at a loss or if my characters go quiet on me, I listen to songs that fit the scene or suit their personalities and, suddenly, I’m right back on track. I’m sure I’m not alone with my music loving muse.   Creativity lends itself to more creativity and music, for lack of a better phrase, really does it for me. 
To keep things simple, I’ve created character channels on Pandora (the free internet radio site).  I have one for the hero of my WIP, one for the heroine, and one for the overall feel of the story.  My hero, Cian, is Irish and a bit broody at times.  He lends himself to some Coldplay, old school U2, and a plethora of European rock.  He also has a tough outer shell with lots of rough edges, so there’s plenty of Disturbed and Breaking Benjamin in his mix.  My heroine, Hannah, is a sweet, southern, girl next door type.  She’s naïve and she’s been easily manipulated and hurt in the past, but she’s on a journey toward self discovery and inner strength.  Her channel has a lot of female lead bands and solo artists; plenty of Flyleaf, a little Paramore, even some Joan Jett to stiffen her spine.
What ‘s really interesting is when Pandora throws out the random, unselected, addition (which Pandora is known to do) that doesn’t fit with the channel or character at all.  I have been happily going along; rocking with Cian to some angry, alternative rock, when up pops Whitesnake and the 80’s hair anthem “Here I Go Again.”  Cian looked around with his “WTF?” face.  He is not an 80’s hair band type.
Now the hero of my next WIP, Sawyer, would’ve totally been in his element.  In fact, upon hearing the music, his voice perked right up.  “Bring on the ballads and the anthems of the 70s and 80s already,” he told me.  “No one wants to listen to that emo [crap] that Cian likes.  Give us something, anything, from AC/DC to Whitesnake … or any band you can think of ending with Z.  I wanna rock! And I want my turn as lead.”
Did I mention Sawyer can be a little overbearing at times?
The music feeds my muse.  What inspires you?


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