Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Twaddle for the 8th - The Sweet Sound of Inspiration

When I’m first drafting there are a few things I need.
1.     A baby sitter.
2.     An endless supply of coffee.
3.     Access to the Internet.
4.     Pen and paper.
5.     And most importantly…MUSIC!

For me, music is the single most important must have for the all-consuming inspiration that is needed for the first draft.  And I don’t find music to go along with a scene. I do it the other way around. I listen to random music until the music gives me the scene. You see, I know what I want the scene to do, but the music shows me the way it plays out.

Once the piece of music speaks to me, it becomes part of my manuscript. I’ll play it over and over until the scene is complete.  Then I’ll listen to that song for weeks afterwards, reliving the emotion of the scene it inspired and keeping my head firmly rooted in the story while I move onto the next section and the next song.  By the end of a book, I’ll have approximately one song per chapter, which are so ingrained in me that sometimes, listening to the music leaves me bawling crying or laughing out loud as I relive each word.

The side effect of this dependency is that I play the songs so frequently that a) my husband ends up despising my playlist and turns it off in favor of SAD FM as soon as he sits into my car, and b) my kids (including my four year old twins) will end up with word perfect renditions of songs that you’d never imagine coming out of a small child’s mouth. It makes this momma proud.

I’m always on the look out for new music, but for my last two books my old faithfuls have been:
Elbow, Electric President, Moby, Coldplay, Radiohead, Dido, Lisa Mitchel, Radical Face, and Vast.

Have a listen to these. Both of these songs inspired scenes in Carrier 2. Close your eyes and see the music instead of listening to the music...if you know what I mean. We'd both see very different things, but I'm sure the tone and mood would be similar.

You’ve heard two songs that have really spoken to me, now I’d like to hear of the songs that really inspired you. If you have links please post them. I’d love to have a listen.

All the very best and talk soon.



  1. Oh those are great songs! Here are three of my fixations lately:

    "Judith" By A Perfect Circle (Renholder remix):

    Junkie XL Feat. Saffron - "Beauty Never Fades" (Animatrix Edit)

    "Stripped" By Shiny Toy Guns:

    My MC is a demon slaying kick butt these songs go really well with the WIP and inspired a few scenes!

    1. Oooooh, will check them out. Thanks!

  2. I've amassed a kind of "music to slit your wrists by" playlist for my current WIP. It includes Somebody Like you, by Adele, Almost Lover, by A fine Frenzy, Fix You, by Cold Play, and Hallelujah (Cohen) performed by k.d. lang. The more I listen, the more depressed my characters get. Not sure if that's good.

    1. LOL! That sounds like all sorts of awesome.

  3. These are great! I think hearing the music an author listens to while writing a book give great insight into it and their inspiration. Avril Lavigne and Allison Iraheta inspired my current series.