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Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Writer's Playlist

Lots of writers have musical playlists they like to listen to when they're pounding wildly on their worn out keyboards.

Lots of agents, editors, publishers, authors, and readers roll their eyes at the idea.

Then again, lots of readers seek out a writer's playlist so they can listen to the same music a writer was listening to while devising their ideas and putting them on (screen) paper.

And lots of writers argue that a playlist helps.  Really, it does.

I'm no different.  Yes, I do have a playlist for my books - different ones for all 3 books, actually! - but I don't actually play them while I write.

That would just annoy me.

I do, however, listen to them when I'm NOT writing...whenever I need to be inspired to write that next chapter, page, or paragraph.  And sometimes it makes all the difference.

For instance, there is a scene in HAZY between Sam and Caitlyn, an old friend of his.  It drives the plot forward only very gently, but it DOES offer up some important plot tidbits, some tiny little clues about the world of the book, and I love that scene.  LOVE IT.

It came to me while listening to Finger Eleven's "One Thing" in the bathtub.  Random!

Then there's the scene the eventually became my prologue, but also serves as the climax.  (Read the prologue on my writer site, if you're interested...oh, in a week or so, when the writer site is back up!)  Anyway, that was inspired (in part) by "Hands to Heaven" by Breathe.  If you read it while you listen to that song, you'll feel from the music the emotion I was trying to capture on the page.  I confess, it's more effective later in the book, but you get the idea.

So, yes, I have a playlist.  In fact, I have 3.  And I listen to them ALL...THE...TIME.  In the car, in the shower, in the kitchen while I cook dinner, while I'm doing laundry, while I'm emailing, while I'm facebooking and tweeting and painting and all of those things.  And for me, it helps.

No, I'm no Stephen King, but if it helps me tell my story, E.S. Posthumus will be pumping through my headphones while I pull weeds in the garden.  (I can just hear my husband as he reads this pausing here to ask, "You pull weeds in the garden?"  I, of course, would reply, "Well, not TODAY, exactly...")

So if you're greeted by E.S. Posthumus when you bring up the series site a week or so from now, don't be surprised.  That's all I'm sayin'.

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