Monday, September 28, 2015

Currently Listening 9/28/15

~lots of music coming your way!~

Because I have a big family, my home is always noisy. Rarely am I ever home alone or left with silence to write in peace, so instead of attempting to write a novel to the soundtrack of seven other people, I listen to music. Normally, I opt for music without lyrics or music in a foreign language so I don’t get distracted and type words from the song.
But when I’m writing about love...I need words.
I don’t know what my problem is, but I have issues rendering love in my writing. Maybe I’m just not the most romantic of writers, or I've just been in a harmonious relationship for too long to get in contact with the lovestruck, lovesick version of myself from five years ago. 
The love I’ve been writing so far in this book is mostly subtle, blooming from the smiles and dreams of my characters, not yet known to their hearts. And although they are necessary and relevant, these budding (or crumbling) relationships are not the main focus of my plot. It's easy for me to get bored with that and skip to the things I enjoy writing the most - intricate, tangled, puzzling fantasy.
Teach me how to feel love again, Kelela.
Teach me.

One of my favorite artists to listen to when I am writing romance is Kelela. Her song Bank Head could literally play on repeat for an hour and I wouldn't get bored. In fact, it has played on repeat for OVER an hour and I was still jamming. Not only can I write and sing along to this song at the same time without mistyping a thing, the lyrics convey what I want to convey in my writing.
The only way to describe all of this is magic. Of course it's magic.
Kelela's a witch, and I'm here for it.

Anyway, Max Marshall's "Yesterday" is another song I write romance to. This one started my habit of assigning theme songs for characters and the relationships between characters. 
I've always drawn inspiration from the feelings that visual art and music evoke in me. I want conversations to read the way a certain painting looks, or I want a character's persona to resemble the sentiment of a certain song. So when I realized just how aptly "Yesterday" painted a picture I aimed to paint, I thought "I need to make a playlist!", and so I did.
Different from my love songs, I listen to this playlist whenever I need some help before writing with characters I really don't like (see: hate) or characters that I simply don't relate to that much. These songs keep me grounded, making me able to pace myself and flesh characters out even when I don't want to.
And out of all of these songs, from the relationship themes to the character themes, there's one song in the playlist that is much more effective with the video:
*screams internally*
I don't know what it is, but after I watch this video I can turn on my inner empathetic mess. I can finally let myself get possessed by some tragic girlfriend who just checked into the heartbreak hotel. Somehow I'm reacquainted with the fresh hell that is new, unrequited love and I can write my characters into that torture like a champ. This stuff turns my pen into a bleeding rose...or something...look, I'm typing. You get the idea.

And then when that sap is over with, it's back to my regularly scheduled programming of music that just lets me tune out my family and focus on the fantasy.

- Renee

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