Monday, 12 November 2012

If Music Be the Food of Writing... Play On

My dearest Ruth Long is a big fan of music and writing, so much so that she launched the Friday Night Write over at Sweet Banana Ink, for people who are aurally inspired to put pen to paper.

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.

Oh yeah. 

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?  


Diane J. Reed said...

It's always interesting to hear what motivates people as writers. Like you, I find music way too distracting in the actual moment of writing, yet I LOVE to create playlists for my inspiring characters and/or particular scenes. I'll go jogging with this music on my ipod and generate all these ideas by the time I come back. But during my writing time, I require total silence--and since I have children, ear plugs are my best friend : )

Sophie Moss said...

I always write with music. I try to pick a band, soundtrack or playlist that fits the mood for whatever scene I'm writing. I've recently gotten into picking songs for my characters. That's been a lot of fun! Maybe I should post them on my blog. LOL. :)

Lisa Shambrook said...

I have to actually write in silence, but I have songs that create ideas and spark the imagery I'm I use music for inspiration and themes, but then turn it off for writing!

Meg McNulty said...

I'm definitely loving this musicpiration thing! It's working a treat for setting mood/atmosphere for preparing to write - but like Diane and Lisa, it has to go off to do the deed. Today's track: Purple Rain by Prince (for painful scene between heroine and brother)