Monday, November 4, 2013

NaNoWriMo Prep: Novel Soundtracks

I've written about this specifically in: Gabriel's Playlist.

It also goes along with my thoughts on creativity (and how creation feeds off creation).

One of my favorite things—because I love music and "mix tapes"—is making up soundtracks for my stories or characters.

I don't always physically make a playlist (because it is time consuming) but I usually have various songs in mind, as knowing what type of music my character likes gives an added dimension to their personality. Additionally, having a list of songs that, were my story a movie, might play in the background, can help set up a scene.

With NaNoWriMo, I usually begin my prep work weeks ahead so I have the time to consider my characters and their relationships, consider (some) of my novel's scenes and general ambiance, and physically put together a soundtrack that illuminates those elements.

If I have the inspiration, sometimes I make album covers (which can also be used as book covers later on). But that's extra flavor. And I'm a bit of a Photoshop junkie, so it feeds my addiction.

As I'm writing this, I haven't completed this year's soundtrack, but I've compiled a short list of music that's helping me get excited about what I'll be writing in November. Below is a sampling.

Do you make soundtracks or do any kind of musical prep-work for your stories or characters?

When You Were Young - The Killers
You sit there in your heartache
Waiting on some beautiful boy to
To save you from your old ways

Keep the Streets Empty For Me - Fever Ray
A lot of hope in a one man tent
There's no room for innocence
Take me home before the storm
Velvet mites will keep us warm

In All My Dreams I Drown - Jessica Lowndes, Terrance Zdunich
His berth, it rocks, heave ho, heave ho
The ocean gnashed and moaned
Like Jona will be swallowed whole
And spat back teeth and bones

Thinking of You - A Perfect Circle
Lying all alone and restless
unable to lose this image
sleepless, unable to focus on
anything but your surrender


L. M. Leffew said...

When I was a teen, we made mix tapes off the radio and copying from friends all the time. Even though it was technically pirating, we didn't feel too bad since the quality reflected how many times it had been copied over and over. I used to dream of the day when technology would let me pick the specific songs I wanted and put them on a CD for me. When that day happened, I didn't have the $50 it would cost for such a specialty item.

The irony is, now that the tech is easy and cheap, I don't have the time to sit down and do it. Hubby helped me program my ipod a few years ago, then I left it at the head of the bed and although I listen frequently (to the same bedtime mix) I haven't changed any songs in years.

For writing, I found a good medium that usually works. Pandora radio. I give it a couple of songs to start with, and it adds in others of similar musical quality. I wish I could also give it themes... such as "wedding songs" or "songs about the moon" but alas, Pandora does not care about such things.

So far, it's worked well for me. I don't have to spend hours picking out a playlist, esp. when I'd have to buy the songs I didn't have. I even pay a couple dollars every month so that Pandora is commercial free for me. It's worth it because I can use it both at home, while writing, and at work.

L. M. Leffew said...

I may have something else that'll work for you. Have you tried

No commercials/advertisements. The playlists are made by actual people and tagged with keywords (so you may find music relevant to your themes more easily). The only thing you can't do is skip through more than two or three tracks at a time.

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