Ode to an Unfinished Work

music16Maybe music isn’t as important to everyone else like it is to me, but I love it, I hear it in my head all the time and I love to incorporate it into my writing. I know there are others out there who feel similarly; you know who you are. But I have a question to ask of my fellow writers: do you prepare soundtracks for your writing? To explain what the hell it is I’m babbling about, I guess I have to explain what I’ve done.

I have iTunes. I love it. I also have friends that entrust me with the creation of the in-case-the-house-burns-down-and-my-entire-music-collection-melts emergency backup copies. This offers me the benefit of amassing quite a lot of music files. I’ve finally overwhelmed my 30 gb iPod; it refuses to load the entire collection anymore. To give you an idea of how much music I have stored, iTunes has a little display at the bottom of the main screen that tells you how long it can play without repeating anything. My playtime hovers somewhere around five weeks now. I could start my own internet radio station.

And this music is very eclectic in styles. I have everything from A-Ha’s Take On Me, Bessie Smith, Leadbelly, Fergie, The Chieftains, Hank Williams Sr., to The Fifth Dimension, Right Said Fred, Vivaldi, DeBussy, Air Supply, Andrea Bocelli and ZZ Top. It’s a wonder the external hard drive doesn’t spontaneously combust from the warring styles.

I make playlists, sometimes burning them to cd for use in the car or at work. (This is where I’m finally getting to the point. You knew I would eventually. Right?) It all started with me dragging in a group of Celtic pieces that reminded me of Rayne and her story. Stuff from Braveheart and Rob Roy, as well as some vocal stuff that could be songs she actually knows. Then I did the same for another story, and then it blossomed into full-fledged soundtrack building.

My story about Valerie and Daniel has an honest-to-God soundtrack. I haven’t even finished writing it, but, if I ever do, and the miraculous series of events occurs that leads to my novel being made into a movie happens, I’m ready with the music. It follows the events of the story, containing songs that pertain to the plot and/or are songs that actually appear in the story itself, either playing on a cd or sang by the characters themselves. This playlist is almost as eclectic as the rest of my collection. It starts with Sister Hazel’s “Thank You”, wanders through a Louvin Brothers tune covered by Alison Krause, an a capella English folk tune, Jethro Tull, Jack Johnson, and ends up with The Who. Can it get any better than that?

So, now that I’ve demonstrated my weirdness and obsessive-compulsive behavior, is anybody else crazy too? Nope? Just me then…

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3 Responses

  1. *waves hand frantically* I’m crazy, too! I definitely have soundtracks for my two books, but as they’re both set in the world of music, I almost had to. *G*

  2. Hi, nice post. I have been wondering about this topic,so thanks for blogging. I’ll likely be coming back to your site. Keep up the good work

  3. Funny you should ask:
    http://unbearablewriteness.blogspot.com/2009/01/characters-playlist.html

    I’ve been on a self-imposed retreat as of late, but as always I love your blog.

    Kimberely (from the B &W Forum)

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