Sunday, April 7, 2013

Musical Muse

Music has the ability to transport me places just like books do. And sometimes, when I combine a book and music together, they will always remind me of each other. I talked about that a little here. Now, whenever I hear “Eternal Flame” by the Bangles, I am immediately back in that scene of The Hounds of the Morrigan.

The other day, “Welcome Home” by Radical Face came on. I immediately got the chills and had to stop what I was doing to listen, because I was all of a sudden plunged back into Reclaimed.

I listened to that song over and over again while I was doing revisions on Reclaimed. Now, when I hear the song, I see my characters. I see the town of Solitude, where the story is set. I see the lake and the trees, Jenna’s Bronco, the old rail yard. I see Ian and Luke. When I hear the song, I'm in the story again, and I love it. It’s the sound of October to me, the month when Reclaimed begins, as well as the month I was revising. Now that song makes my heart ache, because I feel for my characters and their struggles, and it beats a little faster too, because soon readers will know those struggles as well.

I also love hearing a song for the first time and being swept away by how its voice is the voice of one of my characters. This happened just a few weeks ago, the first time I ever heard “Too Late” by Wes Kirkpatrick. The song hadn’t played for more than a few seconds before I felt too full, like my heart was pressing against my ribs. I know that’s a bit melodramatic, but I’m serious. I heard this song and I was caught up in the emotional struggle of the male main character in my current WIP. I felt everything he feels in the manuscript, and all of those feelings rushing toward me at once was a bit overwhelming. It was so him that I fell in love with this character all over again.

Music is the soul to my writing. My playlists aren’t so much what my characters would like or listen to, but more the singing of their souls, so that as I am writing them, I am hearing them cry out, begging me to listen, pleading for their stories to be told. All I can do is crank up the music and hang on tight. I never know where their stories are going to take me. But I do know that when I hear that song again, I can always revisit that journey.