I was stuck in traffic when the song came on. It was by Linkin Park and I suddenly felt inspired to write a particular scene I’d been putting off because of its delicacy.
In that brief moment when I was able to let my mind drift and just listen to the song, the harsh beat (which is my male lead), the melody (who he is inside) and the words (his desires), I suddenly realized it was the song for his revelation.
Naturally, as soon as I got home, I set my iPod to “Repeat One” and wrote like a mad woman. Now, the scene’s not entirely perfect, but I was finally able to get the emotions, the tension, and the revelation out on paper and it was all thanks to a song.
And for the curious, the song was Somewhere I Belong (listen to the preview). It fits because the male lead in my story is brooding and introverted, he’s done some not-so-nice things in his life, he feels trapped in a bad situation, and doesn’t consider himself worthy of companionship.
Then one evening, while out with the female lead, he finally admits to himself that he wants to feel the love and not hide from it anymore, he wants to get out of the dark place he’s in, he wants to open up to her, and that he wants to be with her–where he belongs. The scene is quite emotional if I do say so myself.
But moving right along, I learned something from that experience: never underestimate the power of a playlist. Listen with a discerning ear and you may be surprised to learn that a particular song lends itself to one of your scenes, or possibly your entire book, or a single character.
(On a slightly similar note, I remember taking the time to choose character songs. Based on each character’s personality, I would select a song for him or her. It’s actually quite helpful when doing the character analysis worksheets and prompts–the song keeps you in the mindset. Now I need to start finding “scene songs.”)