Hey, kids. I have a question. I want to know if I’m alone in this:
Do you make playlists for your characters?
I mean, I know that lots of people have playlists for specific stories, and almost everyone listens to music of some sort while they’re writing (let me know if you don’t!), but how specifically targeted is that music? What is it that drives the choice? It is even conscious?
I, for one, have almost ten different playlists currently on my iPod dedicated to specific characters. Some of them have been on there for years. Some of them only have four songs, while others have thirty. I choose the songs based almost entirely on lyrics, but sometimes tone has an effect, too. For some reason, Linkin Park gets along swimmingly with one particular story from my past. If you ever want to write a story with excessive angst, I’d highly recommend them as musical inspiration.
But do you know what’s really strange about me? I also like to put the playlists on even when I’m not writing. I put them on when I’m walking to class, or to the bus, or even when I’m just hanging out in my room. I sing along and pretend that I’m the character speaking, and I imagine who they would be saying those things to, and how they’d say it, and under what circumstances.
Sometimes, I even find songs that represent more than one character, and then I stage entire scenes in my head–epic arguments between friends and rivals, sappy love scenes between romantic interests, sometimes even battles. There are also, often, cut scenes with the characters up on stage rocking out to their songs, like a music video. Most of them are rock stars.
Is this normal? Or am I, yet again, proving myself a freak of nature? Maybe this is just because I’m a movie person and a total sucker for musicals? Let me know. Because sometimes I wonder about my own mental health.
But, to be clear, I’m not saying I think character playlists are a bad thing. I would be a mighty fine hypocrite if I did. In fact, I think music is a brilliantly effective way to get inspired to work. After all, art comes in all forms; I’m just borrowing from one to develop another. I’ve even considered writing a story entirely based on lyrical sentiments in CDs, but then it would just be an episode of Glee. Not that I don’t like Glee. Maybe I shouldn’t have admitted that.
In related news, no, I haven’t made a playlist for my novel yet. Although I do have a pre-existing one consisting entirely of reggae music that is filling that position fabulously. Oh, Bob Marley, you are fabulous.
“Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought.” -E.Y. Harburg
Bottom of the Garden: uh…not sure what my word count is ’cause I’ve been handwriting…but almost halfway through chapter 3 for the second time! Stupid outline changes….