Waiting on a Song

Maybe this is really my problem…

One of the nice things about expanding my writing circle is learning that I am not alone in some of my crazier pre-writing rituals. From the world of Wattpad, I’ve stumbled upon multiple fellow writers who have an entire Playlist created just for their work in progress. Even NaNoWriMo has an option when creating a new project to select a playlist for others to hear what you hear.

The funny thing to me about the songs that choose the stories is that there is rarely a linear connection. Take, for example, my story First Bite. Not to downplay my own story, but it’s got some of the typical teen angst elements – mom and daughter not getting along, new boy making the main character question her life, and, of course, vampires. But what is the ONE song that I will play on repeat if I need to get into the groove for her story? Sober by Pink.

Sometimes the connections make sense. For The Other Side of the Lookin Glass, one of the characters was inspired by the TV show Victorious, so the playlist was a Pandora compilation of songs like the Victorious songs. My classically trained would-be-a-villain-if-her-family-had-their-way character is inspired by Mozart – in particular, his Requium in D. There are connections, sometimes it’s simply what I was listening to last.

But what do we, as would-be writers, do when we can’t find the right song? I’m currently working on two different stories. First, there’s Saga – who sees the world in fairy-tale like imagery, as it’s all she knows to relate things like airplanes to. So a Disney themed sound track works just find for her. But the other, for Cursed in Shadow, for one of my favorite characters I’ve ever created, the dark and troubled Castor DeVale, I just can’t find the song that brings him to life. For now, I’m settling on Sober as he stems from the same universe as Scarlett and even features in her third book. But it’s like pressing on a sore tooth. This character is one of those who changes an author’s life, just as Lia Usher was last year. But how do I bring him fully to life if I still struggle to bring him to the forefront of my mind by playing a theme song?

Luckily for me, Castor is such a deeply entrenched character (he was first created over a decade ago when writing a story that was a broad history of the world Scarlett comes from – he then waltzed into the end of another story – and, of course, he became an integral part of Scarlett’s denouement) that I can still pull from reserves to start to weave his story together. But all the while, I feel he is incomplete until I find that piece. And I’m starting to run out of ideas of where to look.

Have you ever struggled to find a missing piece for a character? Was it a picture to keep in mind what they looked like? A catch phrase to define them? Or a song?

Until next time, I’ll just be searching song lists…


Published by L.E. Gibler

Writer, rider, and future crazy cat lady

One thought on “Waiting on a Song

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