For today’s first edition of Fiction Fridays, I planned to write a bit about the music that is the inspiration for my NaNoWriMo novel. Coincidentally, the theme for Week 2 of the Warm Fuzzies blogfest is to share something that inspires our current WIPs, so I can kill two birds with one stone.
Having a soundtrack tailored to each WIP is incredibly important to me. Music fuels my mood as a writer, and it also helps me tap into the emotional tone that I want to evoke in my work. I spend far too much time pulling my playlists together — and yes, that is multiple playlists. I usually have a list for the WIP as a whole, plus songs tailored for individual characters, songs that reflect friendships and romances, and songs that inspire specific plot points and scenes (you know, battle scenes, sad moments, sappy moments).
Utilizing a musical soundtrack is also incredibly helpful when it comes to transitioning between projects. TELL ME NO LIES, the novel I most recently worked on (a steampunk murder mystery/romance), has a very distinctive vibe, with lots of folk and country music that remind me of 19th century San Francisco. Disentangling myself from that world and the incredibly vocal characters that inhabit it is a difficult process, but using music to ease that shift makes things a bit easier.
I’ve culled through the current playlist to find the three songs that I think are the most representative of the mood and tone of this novel. As per the rules for this week’s Warm Fuzzies challenge, I’m not going to tell you what the novel is about. Based on the songs I post, you get to guess exactly what this tale might be about. And I see you there, about to peek at my works in-progress page (I’m shaking a finger in admonition, I hope you know). We’re going for honest guesses, folks, so no cheating. 😀
Cara Dillon, “Black is the Colour” (Lyrics)
Cara Dillon is a contemporary Irish folk singer, and her ethereal voice always sends shivers down my spine. She released four studio albums between 2001 and 2009, all of which include a blend of traditional Irish ballads and original music. “Black is the Colour” comes from Cara Dillon, her first album.
Lisa Gerrard, “Sanvean”
Lisa Gerrard is an Australian singer, and former member of the band Dead Can Dance. If her voice sounds familiar, it may be because you recognize it from the Gladiator soundtrack, which she co-composed with Hans Zimmer (“Now We Are Free” is one of her most popular tracks from that album). If you’re wondering exactly what language she’s speaking in “Sanvean,” it turns out that she’s using an invented tongue, one that she created as a child to “talk to God.” She has employed it in a number of her songs over the years.
Loreena McKennitt, “The Old Ways” (Lyrics)
Loreena McKennitt is one of my all-time favorite singers. Her music is lush, evocative, and intricate, and always feels somewhat magical to me. She draws from a wide range of inspiration, from European literature (including Tennyson’s “The Lady of Shalott” and Noyes’ “The Highwayman“) and traditional Celtic music, to broader Arabic and Mediterranean influences. McKennitt is an accomplished singer, songwriter, and musician. “The Old Ways” comes from her fourth album, The Visit.
And there we have it! Any inspired guesses about what my current WIP might be about?
As a sort of “preview of coming attractions,” I’ll be sharing more about the details of my project in my Sunday check-in for the A Round of Words in 80 Days writing challenge. Also, I’m cohosting a discussion about NaNoWriMo progress in today’s post over at Fun Not Fear! All WriMos are invited to pop over and chat about how the first few days of NaNo has gone; for those of you who aren’t participating, we can always use cheerleaders, so please feel free to stop by and say hello.