Writing 101: Three Songs, Two Novellas and One Farewell Concert

LP record on a turntableToday’s prompt at Writing 101 asks us to:

Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?

Music has been such a big part of my writing life, which goes back over thirty years, that it’s hard to pick just three songs. To help, I thought I’d narrow the search criteria and pick three recent songs that have been the most important to me. Primarily because they inspired me to write, even on those days when I didn’t feel like it. 😀

For me, music evokes emotion (a significant theme in my novel Wishing You Were Here), and I’ve always found it easier to write a particular scene if I can find a piece of music that echoes the emotions I want to convey in that scene.

While I was working on my Vampire Diaries novellas for Kindle Worlds, I needed something that would pull me into Stefan’s pain over losing Elena to Damon (a theme I planned to examine in my novellas).

I started with the Vampire Diaries soundtrack, since the music from the TV show is so atmospheric, it pulls you right in to the Vampire Diaries world. Through the soundtrack I discovered Jason Walker. His music had just the right amount of angst and seemed to fit Stefan’s state-of-mind  in my story Pursued By Evil perfectly.

The VD soundtrack included the single “Down,” but the song I found even more powerful, and my first song to highlight today, was the track “Echo” from Jason Walker’s EP Midnight Starlight.

For the second novella, Stefan was in a different place emotionally, but still suffering the loss of of a loved one, so the next significant song on my list is the one that I played frequently while writing Evil After Midnight: “Gone” by Daughtry, from the album Daughtry.

In total, I played 21 songs on a loop while writing both novellas, and  uploaded my Vampire Diaries playlist to Spotify for those curious about my eclectic selection. Many of the tracks are available there for you to enjoy for free.

The last song on my list goes in a completely other direction, much like my mind when I’m doing free writing :D.

I’m currently working on Book 2 in my Soul Mates time travel series. This time, the story takes place in 1973, so I needed to go back several decades and find some tracks from that era that would “take me there.” Not just tracks from 1973, but also the years leading up to it, because that music was still part of the times.

The story also revolves around a musical sit-com, so, I found myself listening to quite a bit of bubblegum rock, Partridge Family tunes, some Monkees. All were great for bringing me back to an era I grew up in. But then I went across the pond and dug out all my old Bowie albums as well.

I was quite the David Bowie fanatic in my younger years, so it’s not surprising that my third significant song is from the album Ziggy Stardust. “Starman” not only brings me back to that time period whenever I listen to it, but it also inspired me to include the final Ziggy Stardust concert in London as a plot point in the book, and gave me some other ideas to play with that I hadn’t originally envisioned when I first set out to write this book.

So, in a nutshell, music has a had a huge impact on my writing, and will continue to do as far as I can tell. Even when I’m writing mysteries (my next writing endeavor after the time travel series is done), I’ll still use music to inspire.

How about you? Does music influence your creativity?

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