I am notorious for creating whole soundtracks to what I am writing. They are as essential to me as the writing itself. Without them I can’t capture the mood or, even worse, sometimes I can’t envision the scene and the characters. Being a major movie nerd, I believe, has conditioned me to choosing the right music for the right moment for the right scene.
It involves knowing where vocalizations are needed for accenting the awe a characters is feeling, knowing when lyrics portray everything the characters can’t or do not wish to say out loud, knowing when just the swell of bow on string is enough to give meaning to final thoughts as a character dies. Sometimes the music is just a part of the scenery for me and has no purpose other than to set the tone of the world my characters are in. I often wish there was a way for every book to have a soundtrack included with it when you buy it to better translate what I have seen for these characters to you.
Just yesterday I remade my Transient soundtrack to include a few more fitting songs for Ayida, Dakota, and Laney (the main characters whom I will discuss in a separate post soon). The main theme of Ayida and her Monster is this:
This song was what inspired the whole of the Transient world starting with a little girl and her monster. I don’t even like A Perfect Circle, but I will not deny the images it is able to conjure up into my mind. Hell, I still have the scrap of paper I wrote Ayida’s little blurb on.
For me a story does not exist until I have the movie trailer in my head and the playlist created. Once those things are done, the novel becomes a real project. It moves from its period of gestation in my idea book to being born on paper and on screen. At the moment Transient and 15 Degrees Skyward are my only completed playlists and are the only ideas who have moved past my idea book but there are many other sitting on back-burners that have yet to come to fruition.
How do I know a song is just right for a story, a scene, or a character?
“Dad – ”
“Mom – ”
“I made a friend today…”
“What’s your name?”
“I want to write – ”
“I want to draw – ”
“Let me write for you – ”
“Let me draw for you – ”
Her freckles were black. That’s what caught my eye. I still can’t stop staring at them…
His hair was pretty. That’s what gave me pause. Even now, my fingers itch to touch it…
“Let me dream with you…”
– 15 Degrees Skyward by Harli V. Park-
Well, I just do.
It’s in the very composition and the emotion and images that it inspires whether they be cheerful, bright and bubbly, or soft, lost, and melancholy. No matter what the case, the music is what gives me depth as I am at my heart a audiophile. I thrive on things that tickle my ears so it only makes sense that such an intangible thing as music can influence all that is both real and unreal for me.
So, to be curious, what music has made your imagination jump from musing to page?
-Harli V. Park-