Does Your Story Have A Soundtrack?

Soundtracks. They can be found on T.V. shows, movies, and commercials. Even life has a soundtrack.

Have you ever found yourself doing random things like, cleaning the kitchen, walking down the isle at Wal-Mart, or sitting through the dreaded school conference bored to death and your mind wanders…a random song comes out of no where, yet fits the moment perfectly?

That’s your personal soundtrack. Or laugh track, depends on the moment. LOL!

Every author finds inspiration for their story somehow, be it life experiences, a television program, newspaper article, you know the drill. Music is a big thing in my household. With my husband being a music producer, there are artist coming through at least once a week to record. If not, then he is always working on a new track, playing it for everyone to hear. My son, who recently finished playing in the Youth Orchestra for the Alliance Theater, plays the string bass and bass guitar. Suffice it to say, music is always playing around here, no matter what time of day. Because of that, the combination of my husband and son’s artistic abilities were the bases of one of my main characters in A Heart Not Easily Broken, Brian Young. 

While writing the first book of The Butterfly Memoirs Series, I ran across the perfect song for Brian, Butterfly, by Crazy Town. No the title of the song has nothing to do with the series, just pure coincidence. I’ve been driving my kids crazy – no pun intended – for the past two years listening to this song. It’s the first track on “Mom’s Driving Music’ CD in the car. If I’m driving and a scene is formulating in my head, the poor kids are held hostage as I keep hitting the repeat button over and over again. To bad! It works for me!

The bass line played in this song speaks to me. Brian is a bass guitar player in a band called Diverse Nation. When he meets his love interest, Ebony Campbell, he’s playing in a night club when he spies her dancing in front of the stage. One look and he’s hooked. When I picture this scene in my head, I can imagine him, eyes glued to her curvaceous body as her hips sway, arms held over her head and eyes closed, lost in the music. He is captivated, his fingers strum the bass line while the band does a cover version of the song. Listen to the song…can you picture it?
 

 Another song that inspires me while writing the women in my books is Miss Independent, by Ne Yo.

It sets the stage for the strong female characters I write in my series. In truth, it’s also the type of woman my male leads are looking for. The kind of woman that can stop them in their tracks and make them take stock of what she has to offer. She’s strong, hardworking and has her own goals in mind. She will never be needy, yet always appreciate what the man in her life has to offer.

When editing, I refuse to listen to anything with words. Instead, I pull out my list of instrumentals.While working through my dreaded forty-six word Passive Words/Phrases list, my favorite song to listen to  is Fantasy and Fables, by KTEK.  Follow the link to track number 16. (Shameless promotion, this song was produced by my husband, so if you follow this blog, you MUST listen to it. I promise it won’t disappoint!)

Other songs that have made their way into my writing soundtrack include,  Making Love In the Rain, by Herb Alpert -great for writing love scenes- and Through the Bamboo Forest, a song from the movie, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, performed by Yo Yo Ma. A hauntingly beautiful song I can feel in my soul, I pull this track out when I’m deep in editing mode and need to ‘be’ my character in order to write what it is they see, think, hear and feel. Since I write in first person, I put my heart and soul into every action and statement made by the characters in order for them to become so realistic, I can hear their thoughts. I put on my headphones and the song on repeat. It’s amazing how focused I get and how much can be accomplished while this song plays.

 

So, these are the songs that fill my head and inspire me while I write. What do you like to listen too? Do your characters have a story that is inspired by a song? Please share!

MJ

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14 thoughts on “Does Your Story Have A Soundtrack?

  1. I'm so glad to have found someone else who has a soundtrack for their books! I thought it was just me! Every single one of my three books has a soundtrack – songs I love that have helped me create scenes, shape characters, even get a chapter back on track when it seemed it had got lost or stuck and I couldn't seem to find a way to get it where I wanted it to go. My first novel, 'No Matter What', in particular was written with a lot of help from Nickelback, one of my favourite bands, and the track 'Do This Anymore' from their album 'The Long Road' is the song that got me started, but so much of their music inspired that first book of mine. Storylines, characters… it all helped me so much. I'm busy working on a new book now and that book is already developing it's own soundtrack, because music is probably the single-most important inspiration to me when I write, and I'm so glad other people feel the same way! Great post!

  2. I'm so glad to have found someone else who has a soundtrack for their books! I thought it was just me! Every single one of my three books has a soundtrack – songs I love that have helped me create scenes, shape characters, even get a chapter back on track when it seemed it had got lost or stuck and I couldn't seem to find a way to get it where I wanted it to go. My first novel, 'No Matter What', in particular was written with a lot of help from Nickelback, one of my favourite bands, and the track 'Do This Anymore' from their album 'The Long Road' is the song that got me started, but so much of their music inspired that first book of mine. Storylines, characters… it all helped me so much. I'm busy working on a new book now and that book is already developing it's own soundtrack, because music is probably the single-most important inspiration to me when I write, and I'm so glad other people feel the same way! Great post!

  3. @Michelle Betham- You are not alone my friend! I'm glad to see that you enjoyed the post! When I first started writing, I didn't listen to music. Believe it or not, I got the idea while watching the behind the scenes interview with author Stephanie Meyers on the Twilight DVD…lol. She talked about listening to a group that inspired one of the scenes in the book. As a result, the group got worked into the soundtrack of that scene and the movie itself. I tried the idea and loved it. Now, every time I hear a new song, I try to figure out if it will work with what a character I'm writing about. It's another wonderful form of creativity!

  4. @Michelle Betham- You are not alone my friend! I'm glad to see that you enjoyed the post! When I first started writing, I didn't listen to music. Believe it or not, I got the idea while watching the behind the scenes interview with author Stephanie Meyers on the Twilight DVD…lol. She talked about listening to a group that inspired one of the scenes in the book. As a result, the group got worked into the soundtrack of that scene and the movie itself. I tried the idea and loved it. Now, every time I hear a new song, I try to figure out if it will work with what a character I'm writing about. It's another wonderful form of creativity!

  5. @Joe Moody- Thanks for visiting! Ah, the dreaded book trailer!!!! I will be using a song created by my hubby when I finally get to that stage. He's got plenty to chose from, plenty of more than what are listed on his web page. I hope you had a chance to listen. I tried to pull up you link but it won't work. Please feel free to email me the link to your Youtube site so I can check it out. mjkanebooks@yahoo.com.

  6. @Joe Moody- Thanks for visiting! Ah, the dreaded book trailer!!!! I will be using a song created by my hubby when I finally get to that stage. He's got plenty to chose from, plenty of more than what are listed on his web page. I hope you had a chance to listen. I tried to pull up you link but it won't work. Please feel free to email me the link to your Youtube site so I can check it out. mjkanebooks@yahoo.com.

  7. Yes, I love writing to music! It can really help sweep a scene along. I like movie scores- Avatar, Gladiator and Titanic are a few of my favorites. Pandora online radio has been great for me. How cool to have your husband write your trailer music!

  8. Yes, I love writing to music! It can really help sweep a scene along. I like movie scores- Avatar, Gladiator and Titanic are a few of my favorites. Pandora online radio has been great for me. How cool to have your husband write your trailer music!

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