Thursday, 6 September 2012

The sound of inspiration

I was thinking of topics for my blog post this evening as I drove home from work.  I was singing along loudly and allowing the music to conjure up images in my mind (while concentrating on the road, of course) and I realised how many songs have inspired my writing.

I am not a big music person.  I would choose film over music every time.  I have a couple of favourite bands but I have more favourite songs.  I hate it when I become bored of my music as I am useless at buying albums and discovering new stuff.
Thankfully my friends and hubby are huge music fans and so I am exposed to new music frequently.

My favourite music is that which creates images in my mind, that tells a story, that is intelligent and beautiful.  If it has rocking electric guitars then all the better.
Some songs have directly inspired parts of my writing, some of which are possibly too embarrasing to share (I'm not down with the kids anymore!).  Other songs are just beautifully written and I hope to one day use them to create a wonderful piece of prose.
I also particularly love instrumental music (movie soundtracks), but that isn't as much fun to post.

Here is a selection of writing inspiring music in my collection;

Handlebars by Flobots
I'm not a fan of the video but listen to the words. It's a song about growing up, having strength and belief and where that could take you.  It's starts off innocently, as a child does, and builds, getting faster, until the end when the person is spent and their soul destroyed.

This Is War by 30 Seconds to Mars
You know those few bands that I love?  30 Seconds to Mars are one of them.  Muse (below) are another.  I don't know about you but This Is War fills me with apocalyptic/fantasy goodness!
Other 30 Seconds to Mars songs I find inspiring are Fallen (which helped me to write my first novel), Edge of the Earth (Matter of Time, my second/third novel), Night of the Hunter (The-Novel-Previously-Known-As-Silver).
All 30 Seconds to Mars songs are beautifully written with powerful messages.  Plus a bit of screaming and heavy guitars.  Magic.

Uprising by Muse
Actually the whole Resistance album by Muse could go here.   Muse are part of Britain's music royalty and I particularly like this album.  It's great for a day when you're tired of being told what to do or sick of your boss.  It's also great for inspiring distopian stories.  I plan on listening to this album a lot when writing the sequel to Matter of Time.

Sympathy for the Devil by Rolling Stones/Guns N' Roses
This one really speaks for itself and is joyfully helpful in characterising the devil.  The devil is the ultimate villian; evil, charming, wealthy, sickening, attractive and utterly seductive.  This song says it all.
My first novel, that is currently no where near being good enough for publication, is all about Lucifer and this song immediately gets me in the right frame of mind to create a devil that a reader could empathise with, that which makes a truly great villian.

Keep Myself Awake - Black Lab
This one really spoke to me when I was a teenager.  Now it speaks to me as a character.  It doesn't relate to any specific piece of writing.  But I can remember the truth of it when I was a teen and feel able to capture that feeling and use it to develop characters.

Prayin' by Plan B
And just to prove that all types of music can inspire, how about this one?  Delving into the mind of someone who has done no wrong and is being punished.  The way the mind works when being punished, the coping mechanisms and how the mind can turn.  I think of Emily May (The-Book-Previously-Known-As-Silver) when I hear this and wonder how she will last as long as I want her to given how much blood she has shed and how much blame she has shouldered.

What music inspires you?

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