Monday, September 16, 2013

Music and Written Word Universality


First, the books I am most excited we got in the children's section since my last post:
1. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
   Black has a way of exploring a thought to be over-done trope in such an interesting way. Her books always seem to say something about society.
2. CardCaptor Sakura (vol 2&3) by Clamp
   We already had the first and fourth and I'm excited to finally have the middle two. This is still one of my favorite manga series. Plus, Clamp's art is pretty much unparalleled.
3. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan (paperback)
   This book has one of the most unusual premises and it delivers on everything it promises. It's funny and a bit heartbreaking. They, of course changed it's beautiful hardcover cover but the inside is still the same.

So, I'm one of those music people. Not musical, exactly. I gave up the clarinet in fifth grade and, though I was in choir, I shouldn't be allowed to sing in public. I mean that I listen to a lot of music. If I'm not reading or watching something I am listening to music. I write to music, I stick-figure to music, I clean to music, and I get a bit twitchy if I'm working and music isn't playing. It may not always be my favorite music but I generally feel better if something is at least playing.

Something that I continually find fascinating is the interaction between literature and music. I'll be reading a book and suddenly something will happen or the tone of a scene will remind of a song. Or, more often, I'll be listening to music and I'll have this moment where I go:

"That! That's what [insert character name here] was feeling when [insert event here]!"

And I feel like those are such fantastic moments because they show this connection and universality in what the character is feeling and what the songwriter was doing.

In my own writing I spend hours collecting songs into playlists. Some of it is, admittedly, a way to procrastinate but I end up with these brilliant playlists that cover different tones I want to set (fight music, walking in the city at night, Inevitable declaration of love music) or are character specific and constantly evolving  as the character does.

Looking back on them is one of my favorite things because so often, I leave them in the order that I've added the music and it is a sort of growth chart of the character or an evolution of the story line.

While, I never thought I was the only one who connected music to what I was reading/writing I had enough people stare at me blankly when I said:

"Doesn't this song remind you of [insert character name here]?"

that I started keeping my music book excitement to myself.

But I'm definitely not alone in this. Fairly recently authors (at least YA ones) have started release the playlists they created while writing certain books. Stephanie Meyer used to have them printed in the back of the Twilight series, Rachel Caine did the same with her Morganville Vampires.  Even more recently authors have posted them online.
More than that, readers ask about them. They want to know what music the author likes, what tone the author had in mind for specific scenes or what sort of music the characters, themselves like. The connection between the written word and music is becoming more recognized.

And I kind of love it.


No comments: