I’ve talked before about soundtracking my projects. Music helps me focus – on the mood of the scene I’m writing, on the characters and their particular pasts and motivations, and on the story as a whole.
I’ve had a good collection of instrumental music for a while, being a bit of a film buff, and a film score enthusiast, and I topped up my instrumental tracks with my birthday money, investing nearly £50 in some new CDs, both film scores and purely instrumental artists. But while I love to write to instrumental stuff, and think about the story to it, nothing beats summing up moods and characters with a song with words.
Usually I have a few tracks in mind at the start of my soundtracking process – usually from the music I’ve been listening to a lot of lately. I’m sure this is much to do with it being in the forefront of my mind, but I’m equally sure that a small part of my subconscious is shaped by the music I listen to while I’m planning stories. The music and lyrics get jumbled up in the melting pot of ideas, and it’s no surprise really when a certain track perfectly matches a certain character.
But sometimes I like to listen to my iTunes on random, and though most of the time I’ll be skipping the rubbish that comes on – like the vintage cheese album that I burned because my Mum wanted some of the tracks on her wedding playlist and since haven’t deleted – occasionally I’ll come across an absolute gem that just perfectly fits the story.
For the current project, that gem was a Hard Fi song.
Anyone who knows my sister Ivy even a little knows that she is a huge Hard Fi fan. I’ve never rated them particularly – I’m sure influenced by Ivy’s devotion to them. She loves stuff so much it makes it hard for me to reconcile finding them mediocre, and therefore a huge disappointment. She did the same thing with Russell Howard. I’ve never found him as funny and lovely as she does, so I find myself thinking he’s not actually funny at all. But he is, I have since discovered, when watching him without Ivy in the room.
Anyway, I don’t have any Hard Fi albums, so this song comes from a compilation CD that I believe I bought in Tescos on a whim for about 3 quid because I liked the Damien Rice song on it… (you really didn’t need to know that) …and it’s one of their more mellow tracks. I wouldn’t say it particularly applies to one character, or one scene, but it does capture something of the tone of the story, and a place where all of the characters find themselves at one point or another. Some find it sooner than others, some stay there for longer, and none of them stay there forever (for it would be a very depressing story if they did) but that place is this song:
And now to finish my words for the month! Can’t believe how fast it’s gone, or that I’m keeping up to be quite honest. One month and a bit to go.
Word Count: 30000
Quote: She gave her a hard look then. ‘Do not make me list the many times you have rushed into something stupid.’