CONGRATS TEAM USA!!!! I can’t tell you how amazing it was to open up my Facebook and Twitter and see all these people watching and talking about the Women’s World Cup. Partly because soccer is the only sport I follow, but mostly because it’s awesome to see people support women and women’s sports. Well deserved win for the USWNT!
So I’ve talked a bit about books and TV shows that inspire me… but what about music? Music is a huge part of my writing process, whether I’m daydreaming/planning, drafting new scenes, or revising and trying to reconnect with my characters. I have a lot of scenes and characters in my novels that are heavily influenced by specific songs, so this week I though I’d share 5 from my scifi novel’s playlist (which you can find in its entirety here). I am pretty eclectic in my music tastes, but I tend to mostly listen to instrumental music (film/videogame soundtracks, epic trailer music etc.) just because lyrics often distract me while I write. That said I pay more attention to the feel of a song, so some of my other novels do have playlists that are heavy on lyrics.
Across the Stars by John Williams
This song is arguably the most important one in my playlist because this was the song that inspired my entire novel. The first time I listened to it, almost two years ago, I could just visualize my two main characters, and the entire story sprung from that one scene. It’s mind blowing that a five and a half minute piece of music is the reason I ever finished a novel. This may just be my favorite John Williams composition for that reason alone, and maybe one day, if I’m lucky, I’ll get to talk more about the scene it inspired ;)
Final Frontier by Thomas Bergersen
I’m a fan of Thomas Bergersen and Two Steps From Hell, but this song is… I don’t even know. It is especially tied to the opening of my novel– the first scene I ever wrote all those months ago. Even though my opening has changed a bunch of times, every time I hear it, it takes me right back to that moment and puts me in my main character’s head.
Somewhere Only We Know by Lily Allen
While the last two songs have been important to scenes, this song is one that is deeply tied to character. It’s not even the lyrics, but rather the emotions it evokes, that really gets to me. It’s so sweet and nostalgic and always makes me think of one specific character. I only listen to this song when I work on her scenes so every time I hear it, it gets me into her POV within seconds.
Empyrean by Jesper Kyd
Oh my god, this song. THIS SONG. It’s probably my favorite one in this playlist. It’s not really connected to a moment or a character but more the vibe of the entire story. If I ever take a break from my manuscript, even for just a day, I come back and listen to this song and it immediately reminds me of everything I love about the story and the world and gets me excited to work on it again.
Courtyard Apocalypse by Alexandre Desplat
And if anyone wants to know what I’ve been listening to obsessively for the last few days, it would be this. A few days ago I had a dream that I met J.K. Rowling (in hindsight I should have known it was a dream since if I ever met her in real life, I would be sobbing too uncontrollably to get any coherent words out) and naturally, my coping mechanism was to listen to the two Deathly Hallows soundtracks on repeat for several days.
Bonus: Casper’s Lullaby by James Horner
And I kind of cheated, because I had to add an extra one to make sure I got James Horner in there. I was devastated to learn of his death. He composed music for some of my favorite movies– The Land Before Time soundtrack is one of my all time favorites, but this song from Casper is one I recently discovered and fell in love with.
So there it is: what I listen to while I spend hours and hours holed up in my room procrastinating writing. And as always, if you have any recommendations, let me know in the comments below!