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Listening to songs that embody your characters


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I thought I would post these in case they speak to anyone else. I find that when I am trying to get into the mind or personality of some of my characters before writing from their POV or their side of a conversation, sometimes it helps me to listen to a song that I feel is the embodiment or how it reflects their life experience. I have posted 3 songs, one for my main character Simon, one for the main supporting character Alice and one for a troubled girl named Amy with a really messed up life struggling to find her way.

 

Simon's song

 

Alice's Song

 

Amy's Song

 

 

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I also use music when I write. Certain songs will put me into a story, into the emotions the story evokes. Otherwise, what I write seems lifeless, sterile, contrived. Some stories have one song (for ...and night falls, I listened to "Lowdown" by Boz Scaggs, for instance), and others have more than one (my current WIP has two songs, "Lovely Day" by Bill Withers and "Let Go" by Justin Jay). I put on earphones and let a song play on repeat as I write, and I stop actively listening to it, but it permeates the emotion that goes into the story. Funny thing, after I've used a song for writing music, when I hear a few bars of it, immediately a scene or two will come to mind, and the feelings from that scene will fill me. Yeah, I'm weird like that 😉

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I haven't, just because I have an issue with most songs. Also because they'll probably get me riled up or get me to cry a river that I'd just put away five minutes beforehand. Or I'll just laugh at something ridiculous in the video that wasn't meant to be ridiculous. So I'll just listen to DappyTKeys' live piano hymns/psalms music or classical.

 

Then I'll get distracted with memes and social experiment videos and Dhar Mann videos...*sigh*

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2 hours ago, Ky_GirlatHeart said:

I haven't, just because I have an issue with most songs. Also because they'll probably get me riled up or get me to cry a river that I'd just put away five minutes beforehand. Or I'll just laugh at something ridiculous in the video that wasn't meant to be ridiculous. So I'll just listen to DappyTKeys' live piano hymns/psalms music or classical.

 

Then I'll get distracted with memes and social experiment videos and Dhar Mann videos...*sigh*

Um...I don't listen to songs on youtube where there would be visuals to distract me. When I pick a song, I go to Amazon, buy it, and download it to Windows media player, plug my headphones into the computer....and go tappa-tappa on the keyboard. You are right about the music touching your emotions, though, and bringing on tears at times, smiles at other times. But... no tears in the writer, no tears in the reader....

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Posted (edited)

Although I linked the videos, I was trying to show the song, not the video portion, I just listen. I might press play, then switch application or close my eyes. For me, because I see the story in my head like a movie, then an added soundtrack helps me to capture how my character is feeling, helps to tap into expressing the emotions of the characters rather than me just trying to imagine them. Of course I use other songs to help in creating scenes, but this is the way I myself find helpful to change to the different character personality/mentality. 

 

For this book I have stuck with Christian songs as I want to convey the struggles of life, but each song always has a positive note or spin to it.

Edited by Amosathar
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Amosathar said:

Although I linked the videos, I was trying to show the song, not the video portion, I just listen.

I can't listen to them while writing (too distracting), but sometimes I hear some that remind me of a character. 

 

The one reminds me of my assassin turned good guy. 

 

 

This one reminds me of the girl he falls in love with, who he saves from a... We'll call it a human trafficking situation because that is the closest to explaining it in a family-friendly sense. She spent ten years caring for the other girls who came through there sometimes at great cost to herself, but she stayed strong and never let them break her. (Yes, I write about some difficult topics. And yes, I know this is technically about Ester.) 

 

 

This one reminds me of my female MC in my current story. 

 

 

 

Edited by Alley
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@Alley I don't usually listen while writing, but sometimes I will stop and listen to the song or part of it just to get me into the right head space.

 

You seem to understand what I'm trying to say. Those 3 songs are really good and the type of songs I am talking about, that they convey their own story or message.

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As much as I'm into music, I'm surprised I'd not thought of songs for my characters.  I'll start.  Maybe my main protagonist's song could be Miss Angie's Which Way the Wind Blows.  She's not real wrapped up in worrying about tomorrow.  She's pretty content in making each day count. 

 

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10 hours ago, Tommie Lyn said:

Um...I don't listen to songs on youtube where there would be visuals to distract me. When I pick a song, I go to Amazon, buy it, and download it to Windows media player, plug my headphones into the computer....and go tappa-tappa on the keyboard. You are right about the music touching your emotions, though, and bringing on tears at times, smiles at other times. But... no tears in the writer, no tears in the reader....

Fair enough. I listened to Old Christian Radio before, a station that would play hymns submitted by different people. However, I got bored and decided to go on YouTube. And get distracted.

 

I would get some the way you do, only I wouldn't be allowed to do it most likely...

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13 minutes ago, Paul but not THE said:

I've built a fair CD collection.  I could give recommendations 😃 

WOW! That's quite the collection!

 

We actually have CDs here (some for sacred music and some for classical...a few movies, too), but I don't pop those in. Maybe I should?

 

I'd like to hear your recommendations though! More than welcome to receiving them for sure! 😄

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13 minutes ago, Ky_GirlatHeart said:

Maybe jazz...

well, I guess a music file's not accepted.  I was gonna share Lester Estelle Sr's jazz guitar version of Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho. (Lester's two sons were drummers for Pillar and Superchic)

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40 minutes ago, Paul but not THE said:

Recently, Toby Mac's "Gone" has been able to to that to me.

The only song that's made me tear up a bit was "God Only Knows" by for King and Country. Since I don't listen to most CCM anymore, I watch pro-life films or those try not to cry videos so I can cry. 😄

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