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Sparkfest – Day 3

I’ve mentioned this before, but in terms of inspiration–or “spark”–I find a lot of mine in music.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve linked songs to story. Maybe it’s because my favorite songs as a child told a story; I especially liked “Chanson Pour Les Petits Enfants” and “Band on the Run” and “The Gambler.” So somewhere in the back of my mind, every song became a story (and I guess in a way they all are), and I just began to fill in the missing bits.

When I got to that age where one begins to make mix tapes (CDs and playlists now, I suppose), I would pick a character or TV show or movie and put together songs that I felt were connected to them in some way. My cassettes were stories of a sort, and my friends would come to me, bewildered, and say, “I never would have thought . . . But I absolutely see now how these things fit.”

Sometimes it’s hard for me to remember not everyone sees and hears things the way I do. Being a writer means living somewhere in your head, and the words are the open door when you invite someone in.

I was working on a major motion picture at one point, and they let me help put together the soundtrack. And while the movie itself was only so-so–it was never big at the box office and only rarely ends up on a movie channel late at night–the soundtrack became a bestseller. Too bad as a lowly PA I didn’t receive any credit! But I can look at the track list and know I was the one to suggest the Rolling Stones.

So yes, sometimes when a song comes on the radio and I start to really listen–because for me lyrics are just as important as beat or rhythm or melody–something will spring to mind. The song sparks my imagination, and I find I must go play with whatever idea has been ignited.



Comments (6) for post “Sparkfest – Day 3”

  • Every time I listen to a song, and as far back as I can remember, I’ve seen a story play out in my head. It’s never just a melody to me. Sometimes I’m disappointed when I see the music video and find out what the musician’s interpretation of their song was. Most often its never the same as mine. When I finish a book, I can hear a certain song on the radio and know that it was meant to be “the” song to play as the closing credits scroll up the screen. (I see all my books as movies. The characters are that real to me.) I wonder if all writers are this way? Or if I’m a little bit more on the nutty side of smooth.

    Love your blog. I’ll have to bookmark it.

  • I love that music inspires you. I think that is the case with many authors. Music helps us tap into our emotions and if we are lucky we can transfer that to paper. Love the post 🙂

  • Music is fantastic as inspiration. I’ve often heard song lines and thought, “there should be a whole story about that,” and then that idea floats its way into my pages.

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Comments (6)