Sunday, July 28, 2013

Themes and A GIVEAWAY!

As you've seen in my last post, besides a writer, I'm also a musician. So it only follows that music has an influence on my writing. I draw parallels from certain songs, and when I started writing, it occurred to me that certain characters and scenarios kind of had their own theme songs.

I tried listening to music while I was writing, but that didn't work. All too often, my mind would wander to the song being played, and I would focus on the lyric instead of what I was trying to write. So I'd get all caught up and swept away by what was supposed to be inspiring me. I don't know if any other writer runs into that same thing. But on the other hand, I have to have some kind of noise going on in the background or I can't concentrate. TV works great for tat, because it's not lyrical as rule.

Anyway, back to what I was talking about, let me show you what was happening in me when I was writing The NADIA Project. I stared out without a theme song, but as I passed the halfway point in Becoming NADIA and the bottom line message of the story came floating to the surface, what also came to light was Natasha Bedingfield's song Unwritten:

My goodness, it just summed up Nadia's character so perfectly, I played it constantly on my car to finish the book out (Notice how Nadia loves to feel rain on her skin?). So Nadia h her theme song.

And when I was writing Unalive, it was right about the time someone introduced me to Within Temptation. This time, two songs stood out, one as a theme for the overall project, and one just for Jenna Paine's character, kind of as a toll to sculpt her:

What Have You Done:

and The Howling:

Actually, it's kind of hard to tell which one is for which element. But you can see they both give us a sense of Jenna, and a long-ago loss of innocence.

Critical Mass  and Lies and Paine came together about the same time. As a matter of fact, Lies and Paine began as the first chapter of Critical Mass. but it kept going in a direction I didn't want for the novel, so I spun it off into the novella. So I didn't delete it. I just pruned it off so it could grow on its own, and I'm glad I did, because the series feels complete with its addition. The theme from those two works was a slam dunk, and that was Halestorm's I Miss the Misery:

That song just seemed to capture Jenna's barely-focused rage, where throughout Critical Mass  we see her riding the edge of cold justice and blind vengeance, falling first on one side and then the other, and compromising right and wrong in the process. Like I've said to anyone who's asked about her, by the time you finish Critical Mass,  you're either going to love Jenna even more, or hate her guts.

As you go through my work, I think you can probably see the influence that each of these songs has exerted on the overall story. And I think my work is better for it. Does your music influence your writing, or do you listen as you rad and let it filter into the story as you read? Let me know.

From the comments, I'll pick a random winner and they can get an eBook from my series (our choice!) So make sure you leave your email address when you comment.


  1. I listen to two kinds of music. One type is to 'jumpstart' the process, to drown the internal voice inside my head, asking me what on earth ever gave me idea I could write anything other than pure drivel. The other type is to set the mood and tone of what I am writing at the time.

    I prefer to read either in silence or aloud, so I can 'hear' the nuances of the prose.

  2. That's pretty cool, Cy. I didn't know that about your works. I, too, write with certain songs as themes for my characters. I usually have Spotify playing as I write, and before I know it, the music is gone, and so am I - into the story. :)

    If find myself writing fight scenes to music from Two Steps From Hell, and a song by Hyuna (Bubble Pop = inspired one I'm writing now about the owner of a protection agency falling in love with the daughter of a client.