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September 10, 2010


Photo by LunaDiRimmel
For as long as I've been writing, my characters have been hitchhiking in my head, taking over mundane moments every day, and even kidnapping a few of the extraordinary.

More than anything else, they latch onto music. I'll hear a song for the first time and something--in the tone, the beat, the voice, or, most often, all those elements together--conjures a sense of a soul or situation. When it fits a character already in mind, the song becomes that character's, and every time I hear it, I slip into that character's thoughts. Sometimes a song births a whole new set of people and places and plots.

My brother and I used to play a game with our single-track record albums. We'd select random songs and while each played, we'd write whatever came to mind. Song after song, we'd write without stopping until we'd had enough, and then we had to read them aloud. I couldn't wait to hear what the music had shown him.

I still use that exercise my brother invented when I feel stuck or my writing seems stale. It unshackles my thoughts and reminds me why I love to write. Thanks, Scott, for giving me that.

1 comment:

James said...

I agree, listening to the rhythm and lyrics of a great song can totally transport my mind to another time or place.