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My Private Character Playlist

Okay, seriously, I know Sting isn’t likely to give me the time of day, let alone the right to use his song “Mad About You” for a character theme – or “Thousand Years” for that matter. But the first time I heard it, I knew it was a near-perfect match for Sagon. It was almost eerie. Still whenever I hear it, I can see the music video of clips roll through my brain.

I love music and so enjoy anything that intrigue me with a unique character/mood. I’m a sucker for soundtracks, Enya, Celtic, 80’s classics, Musicals and piano, but collect a variety. You’ll find Scottish bagpipes, Japanese anime, Hawaiian, Jazz, Mexican, New Age, Pure Moods, Swing, Bette Midler, Kenny Loggins, Loreena Mckennitt, Rod Stewart and a bunch of random current hits in my music. Some music is just fun to listen to, but I’m drawn to the ones that hint at a story of their own – just as Cole’s Song from Holland’s Opus. I especially love the songs that remind me of my character’s personalities and stories. Some of them:

Diana: Listen to Your Heart, White Flag

Cat: Thousand Years by Sting, And so it Goes by Billy Joel, Track 6&7 of McLean’s Distant Serenade

Sagon: Viva La Vida, Mad about You by Sting, Let Me Be Your Armor by ?(can’t think of the group – it’s a pretty obscure one that a friend found for me)

Morlein: Because of You by Clarkston, Fairyland by ?(another obscure one the same friend found), Old Ways by McKennitt

Ash: I’ll Stand by You by the Pretenders, (sorry, no pic. Yet)

Perg: No Such thing by John Meyer  (have a pic somewhere but is temporarily misplaced)

Ziear: It’s Not Heavy by McLean (I like this one because it helps me feel the spiritual struggles of my characters – good inspiring song)

Granted, I must note that these are all fantasy characters thus some terms and references used (such as running through the hall of a highschool) are more figurative.

Whenever I sit down to write (when I’m not concerned with distracting others or competing with my children’s shows/music etc.) just about the first thing I do is turn that play list on. I have it on random so I never know which one will come on. But I like to sit and savor it sometimes – just trying to wrap myself in the characters and the moods of my stories. After a few minutes, then I’ll mix in some other music, particularly Enya or instrumentals.

So, even though we may never have the right to publicly link our characters to the songs, here’s to character songs! What songs remind you of your characters?

About Ren Black

Part-time novelist. Weekend artist. Full-time Mother. Ex-poet. Perfectionist by training. Compulsive researcher sporadically. Prone to fits of linguistic commentary Unorthodox Renegade occasionally. Sarcastic by habit... Dreamer Always... Consider Yourself Warned

4 comments on “My Private Character Playlist

  1. Oh, this is such a great topic. I will gather my characters for a meeting and get back to you on this. 😀
    Off the top of my head…

    Ocilla”s song to the Son…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGoWtY_h4xo

    Ash’s song to Ocilla…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGoWtY_h4xo

    • lol, my Husband read your comment and just laughed, “You writers are so funny.”
      I agree, we are a bit eccentric.

      Although, with cell phones and hands free stuff it is funny to see people alone in cars and walking around just talking away. Now we just fit right in. People probably don’t give my character discussions a second thought. They just assume I’m on the phone.

  2. I haven’t yet gone so far as to assign certain songs to my characters, but I really do like how music can help set the mood for writing a story.

    Another author I’m good friends with by the name of Kevin J. Anderson felt so strongly about music and stories that he wrote some lyrics to go with Book 1 of his current trilogy, and when he contacted ProgRock Records about recording them into songs, a whole bunch of Progressive Rock artists hopped on for the first album which was released at the same time as the first book last year. It was such a hit that he did it again for Book 2 of this year. Scheduling caused different artists to hop on than from the previous year, and the album has a different feel, but it works because of the direction he took the story in the second book. The trilogy is called Terra Incognita and you can buy both the books and CDs directly from his website – http://www.wordfire.com – and just so people reading this blog are aware, he is a mainstream author, but I think you might like the parallels of this trilogy as it’s a fantasy trilogy about two countries with two similar religious faiths that go to war after the holy city located at the isthmus connecting the lands gets burned down by accident. Neither side is at fault, but war begins anyway since no one knows this. It’s a fascinating read with a variety of rich characters doing all sorts of things, and the music is outstanding! 😉

    Other bands I like to listen to (whether I’m writing or just listening):

    Saviour Machine, Virgin Black, Narnia, Demon Hunter, Antestor, Theocracy, Rackets and Drapes, Rob Rock, Mortification, Tourniquet, Wedding Party, Eva O, Stryper, Bride, Petra, and many more including the various praise and worship leaders from MorningStar Ministries (the ONLY praise and worship music I will listen to).

    All in all, I think good music and good books are some of the best things we can feed our minds and souls outside of the Word of God.

  3. Music is a rhythm, rhythm is a beat, our hearts have a certain beat. I believe that we enjoy the beats that are nearest to our own,(not a proven fact.) When I first met my now husband, the first thing that attracted me to him was his rhythm. I still adore that rhythm and I see it in everything he does. He is a drummer. I was not aware of this when I first met him. I personally believe that God gave us this rhythm for a reason. If you look hard enough, you will find that every living thing has a rhythm. Up to and including the trees. So keep the rhythm as well as the faith.

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