Monday, October 22, 2012

Using Music to Spark the Muse

I've always written to music, even way back in the day when village banged on drums and I scribbled on tree bark. Okay, I'm not THAT old, but sometimes I feel that way. But the music I listen to is actually pretty hip. Hip enough that my kids will say, "COOL" when they sync the Ipod and see what I've scooped up from ITunes. They also enjoy my stash of 80's music though my 14 yr old would rather die than admit I'm cool.

I'd love to know what music does to other authors or even readers. I know, for me, if I have the correct song playing I no longer hear it. If I hear the song then it's the wrong one. I often have trouble writing if I can't find just the right song, so that means a trip through YouTube to find stuff. So I'll enlist my college-aged friends (who troll for tons of music) for ideas. I've gotten many from them! All songs are purchased through Itunes.

So Playlist for Birthday Games--FREE on Amazon (Go scoop it up.) It's short, but it's a short book.

  • International Love by Pitbull (featuring Chris Brown) (this is also the song for their first menage in Spy Games: Trained for Seduction.) 
  • Whistle By Flo Rida is the music played during Jake's birthday game called "Torture Chase."
  • If you want Angst music for the last scene: The Story, 30 Seconds to Mars works

Ripped was fairly easy because it is also a short book. It's basically one song. Hurricane (unplugged MTV version) by 30 Seconds to Mars (love me some Jared Leto!)

If you haven't listened to 30 Seconds to Mars, they are incredible. Jared's voice is just as good unplugged as it is on the studio version. If you YouTube it, you get to watch him sing, and the man is stunning. He can rock a normal haircut or a pink or blond mohawk.

I find it really interesting that the unplugged version is so different in feeling than the studio version. The unplugged version is very angsty and dark. The studio version is more exciting. And the video is just an incredible exploration of dark dreams.

Exceeding Boundaries was actually easy, too. That was written to Maroon 5's Never Going to Leave This Bed.

If you listen to the lyrics, they don't really match the story, but it's the feeling the music gave me when I listened to it that made it click. I also listened to Maroon 5's She Will Be Loved (LOVE the video. How lucky is Kelly Preston?) and Misery.

I can't say I like a lot of their music, but I'm liking their new album quite a bit. And no, I don't watch The Voice.

The Spy Games books are interesting, because I can use a lot of the songs for all three of them. Spy Games: Trained for Seduction used a bunch of different songs and artists. I'll give you a quick rundown, and if it worked for the other two, I'll put a note. 

  • Kate's song is Stronger by Kelly Clarkson. The lyrics don't necessarily fit, but the song is about empowerment. 
  • Chase doesn't really have a song but if he did, it would be Games Without Frontiers by Peter Gabriel. 
  • Anything angsty going on was probably written to River Flows In You by Yiruma (piano piece, beautiful.) All books. 
  • The song Chase makes love to Kate to on the Ipod is: Set Fire to the Third Bar by Snow Patrol (feat. Martha Wainright I think.)
  • With or Without You by U2 is a must for any love scene for all three books. 

Oh, Jake and Tia, the complex creatures of Spy Games: Lethal Limits, sparked many, many songs. This book actually took up many songs, but I'll just list a few. If you've read the series, you know Jake is all about his music. He doesn't like country, btw, despite his Texas roots.
  • The song Jake dances to with Tia in the kitchen is Called Out in the Dark by Snow Patrol (it's just a fun song.) 
  • In the beginning of the book, Jake likes to sing Jessie's Girl by Rick Springfield but changes the lyrics to Chase's Girl. 
  • When Tia's snooping in Jake's room, the song is Policy of Truth by Depeche Mode
  • Young Blood, by The Naked and the Famous, was a big listen for this book
  • Goodbye Horses by Lazzarus  was a weird song choice (if you listen to it, it's the song from Silence of the Lambs at the end. Fabulous song, sort of creepy feeling, but techno.)
  • I also went through a Matt Nathanson phase. Wedding Dress, Run, and Kiss Quick were all big.

What music sparks your muse? Do you listen when you read, work or play? I'd love to know! 


stormiekent said...

I sometimes use music to set the correct mood for a scene I'm writing. If I really need to convey sadness or heartbreak for example. I really enjoyed your post.

Rebecca Enzor said...

While I can write no matter what, I do use music as often as possible to inspire me. Fight scenes are always choreographed to music, and my favorite music is always something that reminds me of a character or setting or scene. I make huge playlists for each novel :)

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