I see them all over the place, people's writing soundtracks. There's even a little box to fill in on the NaNoWriMo website called "favorite novelling music". What did I write?
That's right. I find music distracting. If I'm humming along to a tune, I'm not hearing my characters voice. Until today.
I work in an open plan office, a busy, noisy open plan office. Usually it's noisy because I am making noise, being the noisiest noise maker in the village, but today I was keeping schtum because I had writing to do. Sadly, being at the office, this wasn't novel writing but speech writing and proposal writing and reporting writing.
So I decided to play some music.
Here's what I forget about music: it's instantly transformative. It can take you from fidgety, distracted and uninspired to blood pumping, angels in your ears and in the zone within two bars of the right melody. One blast of Aretha Franklin's O Happy Day and I had a rousing, emotional speech slapped down.
Which brings me back to NaNoWriMo. Not having a soundtrack for your NaNoWriMo novel feels a bit like failing to name a baby. So I'm making one.
I don't yet have songs for my characters or for individual scenes, but I'm working up to that. I've just got a tune for the key conflict and this is it. Love will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division. What could be better for a girl from Manchester? Think dark streets and lashing rain, tortured hearts and forboding. Enjoy!
The other thing that inspired me to plunge into musical madness was reading up about Synesthesia after stumbling across it on the fantastic NaNoWriMo Adopt-An-Illness forum (well worth a look!) - it's an absolutely fascinating phenomenon!
Are you a synesthete?