Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Face the Music When It's Dire

I don't know what we’re talking about today. I was working this past weekend, and it's a lot of standing and walking and carrying things, as opposed to all the sitting and thinking about things that I've been doing since August. So there was a lot of sleeping when I wasn't working.

I have also been listening to a lot of music. Mainly a band called Marianas Trench. Literally, 95% of what I have listened to in the past week is them. I even ordered one of their CDs as a graduation present to myself. Not going to lie, I'm more excited about that than my diploma being mailed to me.

Anyway, maybe a little more on topic, music is a huge part of my writing process. Sure, I like to have something playing in the background while I write to drown out all the background noise (and trust me, I can't hear a damn thing with my headphones in). But, music also plays a more direct role in the narrative process. I have, in my highly organized collection of story ideas and elements, a page entitled "Song Bits" with little snippets that I find particularly inspiring or compelling. These can lead to a scene or even a whole story. I have a couple of stories that owe their entire existence to a single song. I'm only going to tell you about one, because I can actually share it with you.

This came from a creative writing class I took. The details aren’t important, but the particular exercise involved using a song title as a story title, then writing the story from there. I ended up using Breaking Benjamin's "Unknown Soldier," and wrote a whole story based on it (found here). It's not a perfect story, but I did write it something like eight years ago. Although I was about 20 at the time, so it's not a great excuse. Unless I was 12 or under, I expect a higher standard of quality from past me.

Even when it's not directly influencing the plot, music is super important to my process. I tend to make playlists for each story that I'm working on. Since I imagine all my stories as movies that play in my head, it only makes sense for them to have soundtracks. There could be songs that fit the overall mood, or a particular scene, or a particular character. I haven't done this as much lately, for whatever reason, but some of my past stories have extensive playlists. An example for you is The Midnight Carnival's playlist. The protagonist was a teenage girl, so there's a lot of emo type stuff in there. When (if?) I try to revise that story this summer, I'm sure I'll be adding to it. I have a lot more of that sort of music than I did two years ago.

I've considered adding a regular feature to the blog where I share the music I'm into at the time. But I don’t know if I can consistently relate that back to writing without getting repetitious. Sometimes I just want to fangirl about a new band I found. For some odd reason, I try to cater this whole thing to the readers and what they want to see. But I don't know what that is. I'm just throwing spaghetti here. I need a little feedback if you want this to stay interesting. This isn't a monologue, it’s a conversation. And if you've ever met me, you'll know how terrible I am at keeping a conversation when I have nothing to work with.

1 comment:

  1. I like the idea of discussing music, maybe going into detail about what a song might mean :)