A to Z Blogging Challenge 2014

A To Z Blogging Challenge: I – iTunes

This is the end
Hold your breath and count to ten
Feel the earth move and then
Hear my heart burst again

For this is the end
I’ve drowned and dreamt this moment
So overdue I owe them
Swept away, I’m stolen

                                 – Skyfall

The dramatic beginning to the song. The small rhythms on the piano. It sets the mood in your mind just before you write. This mood and feeling flows from the mind and into your fingers, the emotions coming to life on your pages and screens. iTunes is a wonderful invention for music and playlists. Even if you use another program for your music it is great to have the songs that bring emotions within your soul at the push of a button. When I write I enjoy listening to music from my iTunes.

Depending on the topic at hand or my feelings I will pick out a genre of songs or use the ‘Up Next’ feature and make a quick list of 30 – 40 songs that come to my head quickly. The Genius Playlist is also not bad in this aspect either. Depending on the scene or type of feeling I’m going for I’ll play music that I interpret will fit. The start of a new tale. I like a song that will get me started in the general mood and ambiance of the tale I am going for. The hero is about to be killed but then the rival jumps in the way because only he can kill the hero and then the rival’s girlfriend jumps in front and takes the bullet because the rival must live on. A somber tune fills the speakers so I can get the feelings. A grueling fight where punch and kicks are traded back and forth till bones break and blood bursts out of flesh. A fast pace and malicious song to show the aggression and ferocity of the battle.

Overall I like to listen to instrumentals while writing because I like to pretend the scene I’m writing has background music to go with it to set the tone. There are times when I just like iTunes to randomly play music or I pick songs based on my mood and not for the tone of the story.

Now on the other side, Lyn C will join and give her side on the use of iTunes or another music program.

Hey all! Much like Nu Tael, music is a must for me while writing. If I’m sitting in a room of dead silence, or heck, even the drone of the television, I can’t keep my mind on the scene at hand… Though music is an important thing for me to have while writing, it’s also an important aspect to my planning process.

As of late, I’ve taken to creating a playlist for the entire novel. Now, before I confuse everyone, no I don’t mean I make a playlist to write to. Instead, I’m creating playlists that become the story. Take my most recent work. I’ve had this storyline in my head and outlined for a good couple of years. No amount of listening to “mood music” has helped to get me motivated, and keep me writing. Setting a mood is one thing… by having lyrics that speak to me the words I want my character to be saying is totally different. They may not sound different, but to me, they are worlds apart.

Say I have a character that needs to escape into her own mind. I want chaotic, angry music playing via my iTunes while I write, because that’s setting my mood for the scene. But the feelings that my character is feeling are more along the lines of a song of anguish and/or heartache. The music coming from my music player during the actual scene may resembled, “I Hate Everything About You” by Three Days Grace, while the feelings emanating from my character resemble “Invisible” by Hunter Hayes. See what I did there? The mood of my scene was hardcore, while the feelings from the character are softer.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that my book playlists are created more for their lyrics then for the song itself. While music played while writing tends to fit the mood of the scene, the lyrics that I collect are what I base my characters feelings off of. Music motivates one aspect of my writing, while the lyrics work in a totally different way.

Whether it is setting the tone of the scene or the mood of the characters. Whether it is the lyrics or just the sound that motivates you, music can play an important part in our creative process. Lyn C and I approach the use of music from different perspectives, but both are equally valid. How do you use your iTunes and music to write?

~ Nu Tael


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