Mondays are rotten. Right? Imagine waking up, blowing your nose, and receiving a tissue wad full of mud. Pretty glamorous. Like most things in life, no fun time goes unpunished. And my muddy Monday (ah, alliteration) was a direct result of my music infused weekend.
Read any author’s blog and they will go on and on about the connection between music and writing. The reason behind this is because the best musicians are brilliant writers. I’m not just talking about composing lyrics either. Artists like Muse have become known in the lit world for inspiring YA lit (um, Twilight anyone?), but what about composers? Composers are able to tell a story in ways so subtly complex that it boggles the mind.
Nothing gets my creative juices flowing like a good television or movie score. 90 percent of my Ipod is filled with the likes of James Horner and Hans Zimmer. The great thing about scores are their lack of lyrics. Scores create a mood. Driving in my car, I can add my own story to the music. This was how I came up with the idea for my soon to be published trilogy. Granted, the story has long since changed since I first came up with it driving from Roanoke to Virginia Beach, but it was the open road and brilliant composers who inspired me.
I suggest to my fellow writers a trip down the lyric-less music road. Whether you’re brainstorming a new WIP or entering the editing cave (my new home starting this weekend…send coffee), download the narratives of some of today’s greatest writers. My current favorite?
Michael Giacchino (Known for LOST, Star Trek, UP)
I have never listened to music so quick to elicit a response. Much like the great John Williams, any fan of Giacchino’s can listen to his music and note the similar over-arching themes presented in his music. BUT unlike most movie and television composers, Giacchino constantly surprises me by taking his musical narratives in new directions. If I ever need inspiration…or even just space to think…I listen to his stuff.
Don’t all of us authors hope to achieve what Giacchino has acomplished? Yes, we all want to be known for exhibiting a certain literary style, but we always want to try new techniques, change, grow as writers. Just because his narratives are musical and not expressed by the written word doesn’t mean we can’t learn from him. Here’s another example of his work:
So writers…embrace the music. Get a little dirty. Writing is not glamorous, but if you love the art of story-telling you are willing to get a little dirty. Most of us will never be rock stars…but like musicians….whether you are rocking out in front of thousands or quietly composing, there is more than one way to tell a story. It’s just important you tell it.