Friday, September 20, 2013

The Influence of Music

Yesterday, I finished another Jasinda Wilder story, Stripped, and like the other two books I've read by her, she included a playlist at the back. I, too, am highly influenced by music when I write. I prefer to listen to music while I write (though in mom mode, it's not always easy) and I also find that songs can shape my stories.

For instance, when I wrote Back to December, I had a pretty extensive playlist that was mostly from my own music files. Then I turned to YouTube videos. And finally, I found Spotify once my sister introduced me to it. I've since created both YouTube video and Spotify music playlists for each story. If you're interested, become my friend and I'll share them with you. I considered posting the titles to each song, but there are some really long lists, so it's just easier to let people see the playlists.

Originally, I had a different title for the book. It doesn't matter what it was now, but the first, working title for the book was not Back to December. Then, one day, I was listening to the radio - probably in the car, since that's usually where I listen to radio - and Taylor Swift's song, Back to December came on. I've always liked the song, both for the melody and the orchestral sections, but I really heard the lyrics that day. And I thought, This is my story. This is how Emily feels about the mistake she's made. And it spoke to the story on several levels. If you've read the book, listen to that song and maybe you'll hear something new in it. Maybe you'll also see things in the story that you didn't before.

Music moves me. It always has. It's always been a huge part of my life, of who I am. I'm not a musician, though I always wanted to learn to play something, anything. And while I still could, well, I've got other things I want to do right now, so I think I'll leave making music to people who are far more talented than I'd ever be. But so much of my life has its own soundtrack. I hear a song and it brings me back to the time in my life when it meant something specific. And now that I'm creating these characters and their worlds, when I hear music, it often speaks to me about those people.

How about you? Does music shape your life that directly? If you're a creative person, do you listen to music while you work?

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