I’ve blogged before about how important music is to my writing process – how I actually can’t write without a playlist – but I’ve realised it’s more than that.
Without doubt music sets the tone as I write a scene; it changes my mood and the way I write, and I can tailor my music choices to impact my creative output. But it also ignites the spark.
Allow me to explain.
When a piece of music or a song comes on it inevitably sets me off daydreaming (something pretty much every author is excellent at, by the way. I like to call it ‘working’). A certain lyrical phrase or brief lilting melody can be enough to put an idea in my head. Of course authors take inspiration from many sources but I’ve come to recognise that for me invariably music is the catalyst.
So many songs are short stories in themselves (have a listen to Del Amitri’s ‘Be my downfall’ as a perfect example… https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GwASZpIHKLY) and sometimes I get an urge to fill in the missing details and tell the whole tale in novel format.
Classical music pieces (particularly film scores) are what ignite my idea-fire the fastest, however. They seem to be able to push my emotions up and down, as though they were riding the swell and dip of crashing waves, and as my emotions are manipulated so my imagination follows suit. I begin to imagine a scenario that fits the mood of the melody and that scenario becomes an idea and then a longer story, and eventually a novel.
How intrinsically linked the arts can be sometimes!
I only hope I shall never have to credit the composers who have helped me find my own words. I don’t think ‘Carly Rae Jepsen’ would look quite right as an acknowledgment in the back of a historical novel…