Welcome to the Writing On Wednesdays Blog Series where I’ll be posting an article on the writing process each week. While these posts are targeted more towards writers I hope readers will be interested too.
This week’s post is on creating a playlist for your novel.
Here’s my top 5 reasons why you should do it:
- Finding the right songs can help you distill the themes of your book.
Often when we write we’re not 100% sure exactly what it is we’re trying to say. Looking for inspiration in song form can help you hone in on the message you’re trying to get across, often through the lyrics but sometimes through the music.
- Having a soundtrack for the whole book can help you pinpoint the pace of your story.
Sometimes when we’re writing the first draft – or even revising it’s easy to one chapter or scene flows into another without any variation in the pace. When you come up with a soundtrack the songs you assign to each chapter will allow you to see if you need more variation. Maybe you have three slow moving scenes or chapters in a row? Maybe the events in one chapter are too similar to the ones that precede it? Identifying the mood and song for each chapter can help you rectify this.
- Song lyrics can provide missing clues for your characters.
We learn about our characters as we write the story but sometimes there can be something missing. Songs are one way of piecing together the puzzle. Readers connect to our characters when they can relate to them emotionally and music evokes emotions. If you can pinpoint the songs that most accurately reflect your character’s emotions you’ll be able to channel theses feelings into your writing and create more authentic, well rounded characters.
- Having a soundtrack to listen to can keep you connected to your story even when you’re not writing.
There are times when facing the blank page is more than we writers can bare. But it’s always a danger to stray to far from what calls “the dream of our story”. That’s when a soundtrack comes in handy. Have it playing in the background while you beaver away at the housework, or gardening, or driving or browsing on the internet. Or find yourself a comfy spot, curl up with a coffee or your favourite beverage and immerse yourself in the music.
- It’s fun!
Sourcing the songs for your soundtrack is great fun. Yes, it can be a procrastination tool and sometimes it can be frustrating when you just can’t find the tune you’re after. But once you nail it and have your play list together it’s hugely rewarding to sit back and listen to your compilation. You may not ever want to read your book again once you’ve done that final revision but the soundtrack will always be there if you want to revisit it.
I’ve created a soundtrack for Close To Home. You can check in to my blog on Mondays over the next month or two to see which songs I’ve selected and why. Chapters 1, 2 and 3 are already on the blog.
Would love to hear your thoughts on choosing soundtracks for your own writing OR if you’re a reader songs you’d select to go with your favourite books.