For me, writing and music go hand in hand. I make soundtracks for NaNoWriMo and other novels. I make playlists for my characters, including songs that illustrate them as well as songs they would listen to. I write to music. (So long as it's music I've picked out and have control over. Plop me down in a cafe where the Muzak Masters are loudly butchering a Beatles' tune and we're going to have a problem.)
Determining a character's liked or loved songs is one of the first steps, for me, to developing some depth. Making them more human. More real.
Below are a few tunes from Gabriel's playlist. Gabriel comes from my '09 NaNoWriMo novel (which I will get around to editing and rewriting one of these days, I swear). I think he's more anti-hero than hero. Which is fine with me, I've always preferred my heroes a bit dark. He grew up with an abusive father and a mother who'd learned to stay out of the fray. His closest friend and confidante was a strangely insightful girl, Elissa. They looked out for one another until life circumstances separated them.
(Get a taste of Gabriel and Elissa's relationship by checking out Without Words and its follow up Settling Scores.)
Do you make playlists for your characters?
1. Animal I Have Become - Three Day's Grace
2. Until the End - Breaking Benjamin
3. Everything Goes to Hell - Tom Waits
4. Like A Killer - Scarling
5. Rangers - A Fine Frenzy