Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What Music Defines You and How Does Music Affect Your Writing?

I meant to post this yesterday, but I didn't get a chance. Just in case you are wondering why there are two posts on one day. :)
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If I had an album to define me and my life it would Within Temptation’s ‘The Silent Force’. I think everyone interprets lyrics somewhat differently from the next person, so what the band intended may not be what I see. Yet, based on the lyrics, the sound, and the general ‘feel’ of the album, ‘The Silent Force’ would be it for me.

What about you? What album defines you and your life?

On a similar topic, I know that my writing is almost symbiotic with music. If I can’t listen to music while I am writing there is no flow to the work. I also work much more slowly without music.

A couple of years ago I took up the formal practice of having a playlist for each of my books. With rewrites it tends to change, often dramatically so. But the thing about my playlists is I design them so that the novel can be read practically in time to the music meant for each chapter. This, of course, would not be exact as everyone reads at a different speed, more or less.

Still, it takes me a long time to compile the right music, usually based on what I was actually listening to when I wrote that scene/chapter or a song that fits perfectly in sound and lyrical composition. I don’t mind creating the playlists because they are, to some degree, self gratifying. As well, the readers seem to enjoy the lists. I don’t know if they actually listen as they read, but they at least like to know what I was listening to when I wrote the book. So yeah, I think playlists are a very good thing for an author/writer to have available. Well, unless your taste in music tends to be a bit too extreme for your target reader group. :)

So, how does music influence your writing? Do you adhere to the playlist principle?

I would love to hear other writers’ thoughts on these subjects.


Mel

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