Music along with writing will always will be one of my favorite passions. All through middle and high school I played in the band as a saxophonist. I wasn’t necessarily the best at it, but I did enjoy the process of making music. It involved many hours of practice and combining different sounds to formulate cohesive songs for our audience.
In many ways, music and writing are the same. You must practice to get better, blend all of the characters and plots to create cohesion, and find a way to move your audience. Have you ever listened to a tune and become lost in the melodies? Have you found yourself entranced by the sound of a keyboard or someone’s voice? Do particular songs put you in a certain mood or feeling while listening? I wanted to incorporate these same traits I hear in music while writing to create a resonating story.
Before I started writing my novel, I tried to create a playlist of music that not only set the tone for my story, but provided the focus needed to write efficiently and effectively. It was key to completing Gone World.
Take one of my favorite pieces of music, Sweden from Minecraft:
How did you feel while listening? Melancholic? Calm? Ominous? I felt all three. Maybe you felt something different which is fine. Everyone has their own opinions.
Since Gone World is a post apocalyptic story, I wanted to include all three of the traits I listed into one song. I used this song as my main theme for the book. I liked the melancholy tone, because the world ending is a very sad thing, in fiction and reality. The sense of calmness in the song allowed me to focus deeply while I wrote. There were many days where I would play a hour long version to maintain a particular mood while working. Last but not least, the ominous tone conveyed the unknown dangers of a destroyed world, along with the constant possibility of death daily. Every time I wrote I felt like everything was really destroyed.
Now the song Carmina Burana: O Fortuna was used for a different purpose:
I played this song whenever I wrote a particularly tense scene. Sometimes a song can magnify things in greater detail. Many times throughout the story, I would search for the perfect song to gel with the words I was writing.
My last example is from a well known movie called UP. I used this song whenever I wrote a scene containing two particular characters (I won’t name for the sake of the story).
Even though this is a post apocalyptic story, I used a light and euphoric tune in contrast to the overall mood. I liked the way the song started happy and uplifting then turned dismal towards the end. This symbolizes the lack of hope within the story most of the characters have. Even when things look like they’re getting better, there is still some hidden despair around the corner.
These are just a few songs from the long playlist I used while writing. Without them I don’t think I could have finished my novel. I release Gone World in May and I hope you’ll take the time to read.