When Music Makes the Story Come Alive

A fellow writer in my writing organization recently asked what song we imagine for the ending credits for our novels-turned-movies. Easy! I know ‘em all. Novel 1: “The Sound of Sunshine” (Michael Franti and Spearhead) first, then “Jabulani – Rejoice” (Ladysmith Black Mombazo). Novel 2: “Brighter Than the Sun” (Colbie Caillat), then “Good Life” (OneRepublic). Novel 3: “I Lived” (OneRepublic), then “Nothing More” (Alternate Routes).

Not that I’ve thought about it that much.

Ha! If you’ve followed me at all, you know that music plays a heavy role in influencing my writing. Every manuscript has a playlist – and it’s almost essential. It’s what I listen to non-stop during my commutes or when I’m cleaning or whatever because it gets me deep into the mood of my story and my characters and who they are.

For my current WIP, I’ve struggled. I started it over a year ago and I have some good scenes written from that time, but then I stalled out. I put it aside to re-work my current project that I’m querying and that was after just stalling out of writing, period, from about November 8 of last year until almost May of this year.

I really love the characters, though, so I delved back in, and am even doing the craft book thing to help me develop the story, because that has been the missing piece.

Until I heard The Song.

One of local radio stations has been playing an old Kelly Clarkson song – “Breakaway”. A few weeks ago, I heard it, but no effect. Then I started really digging into the WIP and heard this song last week and BAM! I thought, THIS is Lizzie at the end of the story. Or not. Somehow, though, even if the lyrics don’t fit – and even if it won’t actually be the end of the story, the tone brought Lizzie to life for me in ways I hadn’t been able to grasp until now.

Though it’s still going s-l-o-w-l-y, I actually have scenes coming to me. Ideas are starting to loosen up. The characters are starting to move in and set up house in my brain. Maybe I’ll even be able to write more than 100 words in a sitting someday soon. Ha.

Does music have the same effect on your writing or ideas? What helps inspire you when you’re stuck?

The Song:

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1 Response to When Music Makes the Story Come Alive

  1. Pingback: Finding Grace: Reading and Writing | It'll All Work Out

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