Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Writing And Music- It's Like . . .

Caramel and chocolate.

Summer and snow cones.

Motorcycles and beautiful days.

One makes the other even better. 

There have been many who have discussed music and writing. Most of the ones that I've come across talk about writing to music. That's something I can't do. I listen too intently to the music and get distracted from my writing. Probably because I have a musical background. (I've played the violin, piano and flute.) And I'm easily distracted. (Is that a rabbit over there?) 

Many authors create playlists of the songs that inspired their work. I find that I compile soundtracks to complement my scenes. For example in chapter two of A Shot At Forever, as the heroine approaches her marks for the night, I know that 8-Ball, by Seasick Steve is playing in the background of the honkytonk.

(I highly recommend Seasick Steve. His album Walkin Man is outstanding.)

Now that you know the song, here's the scene.

Chapter 2
            "Well now, is this a boys only club, or can any gal get in on the shots?" With just the right amount of sass, Sheridan threw her question out to the men standing around the pool table.
Her boot heels clicked across the worn wooden floor as she approached the cowboys she’d been casing for almost an hour. When they turned to face her, she stopped a few feet in front of them and rested her hands on her hips in an arrogant stance.
Five sets of eyes roamed up and down her body as she waited for a response. She held her ground and didn’t move a muscle, even though she wanted to itch right out of her skin.
You didn’t mind when Ethan looked at you like that last night. Sheridan slammed the door on that thought and forced herself to look at her marks, not the dance floor where she’d gotten the most intense kiss of her entire life.
            A cocky young buck stepped forward and smirked. "Do you know how to play with the big boys there, sweet thing, or are you just wantin' to hold a long piece of wood? Either way, I can accommodate you."
Loud guffaws filled the air, drowning out the country music coming from the dance floor behind her.
            Pushing her lucky cowboy hat back further on her head, she nodded to the cue in his hand. "The way I figure it, all you gotta do is know how to use that piece of wood. I know how to handle it. Question is- do you?"
            The ensuing hoots and laughs were her ticket in, and she knew it.
The young cowboy’s eyes hardened. "Alright darlin', you can play, but we play for stakes, so you got to be ready to cover what we're playing for. Unless you can offer up something just as good that we might be wanting to sample."
A mischievous smile painted her face, covering the trickle of unease she felt under his stare. “Don’t you worry about the money. I’ve got you covered like dew on the grass.” 

 (If you're interested in a longer excerpt, click here.)

Sometimes a song can inspire a scene. Or a story. And sometimes you can be inspired by the songs themselves.  (Those Blues Storytellers, My New Favorite Winter Song)
So how does music play into your writing? What songs are essential for your story? Do you have any recommendations for cool songs you're into right now?


Pat Hatt said...

One of mine relies on songs when things heat up in it, so yep can relate there. but yeah don't listen to it when writing, as I'd pay attention to it too much

Ava Quinn said...

Cool. Glad I'm not the only one who can't listen while I write!

Carol Kilgore said...

Loved the scene! Here in Texas we have the 3 B's - beer, blues, and barbeque. You'll find those at a lot of spots on Sunday afternoons. So I was right there. Great song to hear while reading.

Sometimes I write with music, sometimes not. I don't make playlists, but I listen to Pandora through headphones. It cocoons me in my writing space.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Enjoyed the glimpse of your work. I listen to music but I don't create playlists to set the mood. My only playlists are for working out.

Crystal Collier said...

Great play! I love the way your characters work off one another. SO fun.

I used to have trouble listening to music while writing too. I'm a composer--orchestral/vocal, so I totally get what you're saying, but lately I find the music will MOVE me through a scene. All I need is the mood. My favorite is Two Steps From Hell for action sequences, but we're talking fantasy stuff here.

Cathrina Constantine said...

You had me at Caramel and Chocolate. I'm a great multi-tasker except when it comes to writing. I need complete silence when I write.

Sherry Ellis said...

I'm just like you. I can't listen to music and write. It's too distracting. (I too, am a violinist, violist, and pianist.)

Ava Quinn said...

Thanks for them kind words, Carol!

Isn't Pandora great?

Ava Quinn said...

Thanks, Sue! Yeah, I can see you making workout playlists! :) Maybe if I made playlists for that I would actually work out! lol

Ava Quinn said...

Thanks, Crystal. :)

You've given me hope. Maybe I can train myself to listen while I write and not get so distracted.

Ava Quinn said...

That is me exactly, Cathrina. I wish I could work whenever, but I just can't focus with noise in the background.

Ava Quinn said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one, Sherry. It always seemed like everyone posted about writing to music. Thought I was a freak. Well. . . I am a freak, just not for this! lol.

Mina Lobo said...

Ohmigosh, that was just EXCELLENT! I listened to the tune as I read the excerpt, and it's just so totally perfect. You rock the heck on, gurl!!!

Ava Quinn said...

Thanks, Mina! *blushes*

Liz Blocker said...

This was GREAT. I started playing the music and read the scene at the same time, and LOVED IT. It really makes me want to find a way to incorporate music into ebooks...

Also, yes, I want to read more. Off I go.

Ava Quinn said...

Aww, Thanks, Liz! *blushes some more*

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