Tuesday, February 1, 2011

the thing about music

i love reading other writers' playlists.
i do.
i like to see which songs i know and try to guess at what they say about the writers' books.

and i, too, write to music. actually, i listen to music when i'm brainstorming, mulling, etc... then turn the music off when it's time to type, so i'm not distracted.
i only created an actual "playlist" in the ipod for a book once (and said book is trunked), but i do have certain songs i listened to over and over while writing different books - songs that will always make me think of those stories now.

but i can't share them.
not in a secret, "i-don't-want-you-in-my-head" kind of way... but because my playlists wouldn't make any sense!

i can only imagine:
- "um, ej? i thought your book was a bro-mance, and one of the bros has a disability."
- "yeah, so?"
- "so, this song is about a woman burying her husband after 40 long years of marriage."
- "yeah."
- "??"
- "well there's this one line... and the music..." *shrug*

i could come up with a reasonable playlist for BUTTER, i think, because music is such a big part of the story. i certainly listened to a lot of jazz while i was writing it, and many of those songs are even in the book. but i also listened to some angsty punk rock and weepy country tunes - songs that don't reflect my MC but that put me in the right mood for a scene or chapter. it would be the strangest mish-mash of songs ever to go on a playlist together.

so, alas, i don't share my music.
but i hope others continue to do so, because one of my favorite internet time killers is looking up playlists and making guesses about the book.

what about you? do you pick apart playlists and look for story clues, or do you just say "oh cool, i know that song!" and move on?
am i the only weirdo over-analyzing the music? :p


Bri said...

I tend to say "Oh cool, I know that song!" and move on, but yes, I always love reading playlists.

I know what you mean, though. I do have a playlist for my novel, but plot and character wise, some of the songs don't really fit. They just, as you said, get me in the right mood.

E.J. Wesley said...

I'm with you EJ. I'm all over the place when it comes to writing music. While I'm actually engaged in writing, it has to be without lyrics. (I get too distracted by words when trying to create words.) However, I usually listen before and after, sort of like my warm up and cool down. :)

As for specifics for each story, I try to find soundtracks on Pandora that fit the bill. For instance, I've been working on a spy-ish novel, so I dial up "Bourne Identity" on Pandora and away we go!

~EJ~ (also ;)

erinjade said...

thanks Bri and E.J. glad i'm not alone with music being mostly about the mood. heck, we're probably in the majority, and i'm just over-thinking other folks' playlists. ;)

E.J. - i like that idea of using pandora and getting outside of our own music catalogs!