The topic du jour is: what does my story/characters sound like?
Aaahhh, music. Definitely one of the purest forms of expression next to the written word, and oftentimes, it’s instrumental to the written word. I, for one, cannot think of writing without there being some sort of music around: either something that strikes an emotional mood that best fits a scene, or something that’s such a perfect soundtrack that from there on in, I will only see that particular scene when I listen to the song.
Come to think of it, there are very few points in the story that I can’t sum up in music.
Book 1 I can best sum up with Slipping Away by Nine Inch Nails. I first heard it as a backdrop to an episode of CSI in Season 6, and it stuck. Heavy, hard-hit song that best portrays both Shourron I’s struggle, what little of it he shows, with Arriella trying to keep everything around her together under her given circumstances.
Book 2 is not that easy. It’s a lot more intricate and takes through several periods: the one-century-later catch-up is not the same as the Tournament, which is drastically different from Underworld, which is just as different from the secrets in some characters’ closets.
Book 3 is pending editing. So I won’t know what it sounds like until I actually look at it for more than two moments…
So, let’s do it by character, if we so can, shall we? And since YouTube is a hell of a resource, I can give the examples of what songs suit each character best, if so possible.
My general taste in music is instrumental, but oh, I love my rock from time to time…
Arriella – Walking on the Sun by Smashmouth. At least for the first two books, this song is perfect for her general attitude. Not that Arri doesn’t have her faltering moments, but considering Book 2, especially when she kicks some serious ass in the tournament, it’s best suited for her out of my entire playlist.
Shourron I – The man haunted, and even the man as he was before, definitely gets a Nine Inch Nails song: Every Day Is Exactly The Same. If you never heard it, have a listen right here. Perfectly suitable.
Shourron II – The Music Inside by Chuck Loeb. Shou is the person who’d like to just have a quiet life and enjoy the small moments. The song is light, intricate, a little tap on the shoulder that tells you to slow down and take in what’s around you.
Makkian – This one is a bit difficult. He’s concerned for things going right, he’s passionate, he’s strong, and is a firm protector, even at the expense of his own comforts. He’s a bit dumb that way, but is generally a good person to be around. But he needs to relax. And for him… Club Paradise by Kirk Whalum. It captures Kian at his best.
Kataria – She requires a strong rock theme. She’s ambitious; goes after things regardless of whether or not they are a good idea, or have any measure of success. Whether or not she’ll ever admit it, she’s a LOT like her sister, insofar as she will stand for her principles. She gets The Fly by U2.
Charlotte Stevens – The Rolling Stones, Factory Girl. Charlotte’s a quintessential go-getter. No curlers in her hair, but if there’s a job to do, her sleeves get rolled up in seconds.
Alex Kramer – He is a good businessman, a great friend, a phenomenal manager, but in Book 3, you want to knock him out a window. Well, someone does, matter of fact :). But he’s a typical New Yorker, albeit in the 34th Century. He gets…Nightingale by Avenue Blue.
Jason Watson – Without fail, I’ll give him Only Tomorrow Knows by Dave Koz. Jason is someone who cannot be shaken easily, if at all; he’s thrown through every possible gauntlet and not only does he manage, he shows that he has more than one good trick up his sleeve. He manages to turn even the most unlikely things to his favor. He’ll take lemons, give you lemonade with your choice of booze (and never ask him where he’ll get it!) and serve it up with a knowing grin.
The interesting thing is – and some of you might know this already – at the time that I was writing/plotting out the books, the scenery was always laid down longhand, at a jazz show. Without fail, I’d be the person huddled up in the corner, with one eye on the stage, ears wide open and pen on paper, regardless of where I sat. Something about the music would just be the perfect setting and setup for the inspiration. To date, I’ve written to Randy Brecker and Chuck Loeb, Jeff Lorber, Special EFX, Larry Carlton… The list goes on. The more music I see live, the more I write. The two aren’t separable even in concept.
So, my readers and fellow artisans, let me leave you with my new favorite song. I found it on Pandora and it’s been in my head for a near week. One of the most beautiful things I heard in a long time – Sunshine in the Rain by Ryan Farish. Which, by the by, is a featurette of one of the final scenes of Book 2. Not the complete track, but get it on iTunes. Well worth the buck.
And, of course, meet the chain
Hayley E. Lavik: