Music and Story: Setting the Tone

There are a number of authors out there who like to build music soundtracks for particular books they’re writing. I personally have yet to do this, until now. My (other) current work in progress is a crime fiction story, a rather dark, unapologetic tale of love, violence, and how personal demons can destroy. The heroine likes music. She has a secret thing for singing that nobody knows about. It’s not a big element in the story far as that goes, but it’s a character thing I like a lot, and due to the emotional makeup of this character, she likes to play music that represents how she’s feeling at any given time. If this isn’t a story to build a soundtrack to, I don’t know what is.

Like the story, this aspect is a work in progress. I keep my ear out now for things that tie back into the story or characters. I think music can be a powerful addition to story, much like in movies. As a writer, if you have something that plays to what’s in the story, it can actually effect your writing. It can be quite powerful, honestly, and I wish I had the where-with-all to do it for every book, but it’s also a fair bit of work, and I”m not one of those folks with an ipod full of music to search through. Anyway, if you’ve not tried writing to music or find it distracting, the trick is not necessarily to pick things you normally love to listen to, but to tailor them to what you’re currently writing.  Got a love song that encapsulates what’s going on between your two protags? Play it while you write. It will have an impact. Even purely instrumental works can do this.

When this story finally sees the light of day, I’ll build an actual soundtrack for it just for fun and for readers to enjoy if they so desire. In the meantime, here are two, the first being what the heroine, Rachel, plays on the way to an incident (she’s a cop) and the second speaks almost perfectly to the romance in the story, from the hero’s pov. Enjoy, and happy reading/writing everyone!