Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Music and Writing = Emotion and Productivity

After speaking to a few groups of teenagers during the past few weeks, I found it interesting that the most common questions in regards to writing were about music. Do I listen to music while I write? Do I listen for inspiration? What is my favorite kind of music?

I can’t choose a favorite when it comes to taste. I like everything from country to pop, alternative to classical. There were a few songs in particular that inspired my writing while working on Of Breakable Things and that list continues to grow as I toy with the sequel. See below.

I can’t, however, listen to music with words while I’m writing. It’s too distracting. Unless of course I’m working at Barnes and Noble or Starbucks, and usually then I bring a set of headphones. I have a classical playlist I compiled to either help me zone out or zone in. Sometimes I don’t even hear the music, but often if I’m trying to convey a particular mood I can switch over to a piece with similar emotions.

Even if you don’t typically listen to this sort of music, some of these pieces are so moving I recommend just sampling a listen even if only for a few seconds.

My favorites in the genre: New Age.

                Michele McLaughlin. The Eternal City-  Dedication.

For me, this piece epitomizes Alex and Chase. I hear it and I think of them. The emotions, the sadness, the loss, and then the new beginning… it’s all there.

                  Brian Crain- Song for Sienna
There are several flashbacks during Alex’s story. She is who she is because of her experiences with the Lasalle brothers. This one reminds me of her as a child... sick, broken, and scarred but still beautiful and fighting to be “normal” despite her disease and its hindrances.

                  Paul Cardall- Life and Death- New life.
Aptly named, the tone is how I felt while writing the beginning of the novel. After reading the blurb for Of Breakable Things, most people assume the story is about death, and although the grief and pain associated with death play a pivotal role when Alex makes her choice during first few pages, the story is about the life of the mind. Once the body is out of the picture, the mind has free reign. A person can see more, hear more, sense more, and most importantly desire and willpower go very, very long way. It’s a world without boundaries.

When it comes to more popular songs, the following were a few I would sing (badly) in the car before needing to pull over because a new idea popped into my head.

                Ron Pope- A Drop in the Ocean
(The Vampire Diaries fans, you might recognize this one…)
This is Chase and all his angst in regards to his relationship with Alex.

                Greg Laswell- This Woman’s Work
 “I know you have a little life in you yet…” So fitting.

                Josh Radin- What if You
This is Jonas’ song (My editor’s favorite character- here you go, Rachel Bateman!) The lyrics are completely Jonas- his longing for Alex even though he knows that she doesn't want him. But he is willing to play second fiddle.

                Thompson Square- Glass

                The Band Perry- If I Die Young

                Death Cab for Cutie- I Will Follow You into the Dark
(This one was actually suggested by Rachael Dugas, my agent, during the process of renaming the novel.)

And when it comes to the Lasalles, and how much they love life and turn everything into a game, anything by O.A.R. is fitting.

Emotion is so important in Of Breakable Things because the boundary of the body is cracked, and the mind has so much more influence over what is possible. An emotion can cause the lights to flicker or an object to move because the world is what a mind makes of it. I will use anything I can find to evoke emotion.

If any songs come to mind, please comment! I’m always looking for new additions to the various playlists!