Let the music play

Sometimes, we as writers forget what it is that we do. I mean, we don’t forget that we create a story, that we put words on the page and we let our characters tell the story. I mean, we forget how we do it. We forget about the day to day inspirations that fuel our imaginations, the little things that will suddenly spark up at the back of the mind at some point or the other at x or y point in time. Those little things that cause those moments of “omg yes this is what I need/want in my story.”

We’re all guilty in some ways, of forgetting just how much everyday things inspire us. How we have to look with our eyes, listen with our ears and so on. It sounds obvious, I know but sometimes … it makes me wonder just how blind are we to what we are doing and how we are going about it all.Which is why I am here at 1am on a Sunday morning, writing this blog post. Well, no not entirely. For once I went out to a concert, where one of the artists gave a rousing speech on how important music is in everyday life. And honestly, I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate – but then, this particular music means a lot to me and as always inspired me, moved me and just generally gave me a spark back that I’ve been lacking for a bit. And that’s honestly, the power of music – or rather the power of words in general.

Our characters are much like that, they’re voices in our head that we give life to. They respond so well to everyday things, but perhaps more than anything music itself. They each have different artists that they like – some artists that I would never listen to myself, but it works for them. Because for those voices, there is a particular string of lyrics, that makes them respond as a character. It’s one of those little things that makes the muse go around, wake up and want to work.

Shakespeare once wrote ‘if music be the food of love, play on’ and whilst I can’t pretend that I am a lover of Shakespeare (you can blame my English Lit tutor for that one!) I can appreciate the sentiment. As I am sure can many a writer. I mean, how often do we connect music or songs ourselves to our everyday tasks. Where a song will come on and suddenly you’re transported back to x point in time. Our characters are no different, or at least mine aren’t. They respond well to songs and perhaps that’s something that I have forgotten way too much lately.

So my job, in the morning – once I’ve gone to sleep and woken up and filled Charlotte in on the night’s events – will be to create a new playlist. One that I know will inspire me and make me more creative with my characters. That will, I hope, make my writing better because music does that to me at least. Stick a song on, and whilst I’ll happily be singing along, I’ll just as happily get into the rhythm of the piece of work that I’m doing. And sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t but that’s okay – the important thing is that there are words on the page, the characters, the muse, the everything responds to it.

Just, spare a thought for poor Charlotte who come later today is going to be spammed with more music than she knows what to do with!

~ Clara

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