First, a quick update on life: I've submitted Heart's Home to my top choice publisher... keeping fingers and toes crossed!! I have gotten a nice 'I received your submission and am passing it along to an editor' from them, so at least they didn't look at my cover letter and reject me out of the box! I've also been invited to take the test for the job I want. Really want. Really, really want. Yes, a 40 hour a week position would mean huge changes in my life, but it would also mean a huge change in finances!
So, this morning, I sat down to work on a little fanfiction, but I made the tactical error of putting on a Crux Shadows CD. Okay, it's actually on a play list on my computer and I just picked one at random. The problem is that this particular song is the first song on another playlist entitled "Werewolves", because it's my writing music for Heart's Home. I *should* have gone over to Youtube and pulled up my writing music for Torchwood... but I was feeling lazy. (What I really need to do is make a proper playlist for Torchwood that I actually own, i.e. buy the music and put it on my computer.)
That got me thinking about writing music. I wonder how many of you use it? (This is your cue to jump in and comment! Sometimes I think I'm blogging to the crickets!) What music do you like? Do you have a steady soundtrack, something you use every time, or a playlist for different types of stories? Or does each story have its own soundtrack?
For me, each story has it's own soundtrack. Now, I have to admit my Torchwood playlist on Youtube (no don't go looking it's private) is music that folks have used to make Torchwood videos, but I only put music on it that I liked (and have bought some of the CD's so artists *have* made sales, at least from my Youtube viewing habits.) In fact, one of those artists, Snow Patrol, ended up on my Heart's Home playlist (because Jack and Ianto are my quintessential couple; always have been, always will be.)
How do you choose your writing music? I'll admit, for me it's a little hit and miss. The Heart's Home soundtrack started out with Crux Shadows, because I started writing the story at DragonCon, where they were performing, and where I saw the painting that inspired me to come up with the story. When I came home, I decided I wanted to add something to it, so I went to the music store and spent a good two hours listening to CD samples. I can only imagine what the sales people must have though! I ended up with Tamar Kaprelian; I love her voice. The working title for Heart's Home was "Before Light", which is a line from the chorus of her song "New Day"... 'before the light I found the dark, before tonight I fell apart'.... if that isn't inspiration for a romance novel, I don't know what is :)
Eventually, I added some Abney Park to the play list and finally VNV Nation because that CD was the soundtrack to the tragic werewolf character I played, ever so briefly, in a gaming campaign. The short version of it is that I had to give him up when he went too far over to the Dark Side! But the CD reminds me of werewolves and tragic love... although rest assured, Heart's Home is not a tragedy. Russle T. Davies cured me of my love of bittersweet endings. I want my romances to end happily ever after--or at least with the promise of happiness to come. (In the sequel to Heart's Home, you know, that book I should be working on instead of blogging), a third party is introduced to the relationship. Rob is a daemon, and in my world, daemons are immortal, so there is a bit of bitter sweetness knowing that Rob will live on after Alun and James have died... but reincarnation is also a part of my world, so there's always hope for them finding each other in the future.
But I digress... as usual...
The purpose of writing music, for me, at least, is to help me set the tone for my writing. I don't always choose it carefully, sometimes it's what was playing on the radio when an idea struck me, or while I was thinking about a character. That's essentially how Crux Shadows ended up being the primary music for Heart's Home; they weren't on the radio, they were in the lobby, playing their music and selling CD's when I got the idea, so the association stuck in my head. (I'm not sure how the band would feel about that... hmmm..... maybe somebody will have to ask them! :)
Writing music can also be helpful when I'm suffering writers' block or when I know I have to write on something in particular, but just can't quite muster up the creative energy to do it. When I put on the soundtack for that story, I am immediately brought into the right headspace for it. It isn't a 100% guarentee, but it does help.
I'd love to see others' comments on the subject!
And on that note, I'm supposed to submit a few thousand words to my critique group this week, so I'd better start writing! I want to give them the first chapter of the sequel to Heart's Home; I figure if I've started submitting HH, I'd probably get the sequel finished and let all three boys have their happy ending! (I've got about 20,000 words written so far, but it still needs lots and lots and lots of work!)