I mentioned back in this post how music has played a crucial role in bringing Cruel Melody to life. While music has always been vital to my writing, CM is the one book I honestly believe never would have existed had certain songs not existed, too.
The first notable song is “Love Like Winter” by AFI:**
Listening to this song years ago birthed a pair of characters in my head out of the blue. I had no idea what they looked like, what their personalities were, or even what they were named. However, I did know they were boy/girl best friends with the potential to become something more, and that the boy would have Issues™ that could drive them apart forever.
I tried to figure out more about these characters so they could get their own book, but all my attempts at that failed. This didn’t stop the characters from owning even more songs, though, including this one:
Puddle of Mudd’s “Moonshine” ended up being all I listened to for a whole month because of these characters. It helped keep them both alive when they easily could have faded away forever…but still I didn’t learn more about them.
Then, in 2011, I heard Three Days Grace’s “Over and Over” for the first time:
I was still revising FLG at the time, but despite how close I was to finishing that book, it had to take a backseat, because OMFG, I was finally learning something about those ambiguous best friends in my brain! Thanks to this song being on repeat, something just sparked, and these characters developed appearances, personalities, and even names. I also figured out what their book would be about and exactly what mythology would be used for it. (Nixes from Germanic folklore FTW!) This book even managed to quickly snatch up a title, which I shamelessly stole from a Black Light Burns song:
A little more obvious now why I think music has been so important to CM’s existence, yeah? In order to honor that importance, every chapter title in CM is actually a song title from its playlist. Some of these have been super-challenging to work around (one chapter is called “Hey Zeus the Dungeon,” for example), but it’s been fun regardless, and I can’t think of a better way to pay tribute to the very thing that allowed my current WIP to exist!
Anyone else out there ever have music play such a vital role when writing? If not, has something else been equally as important, to the point where you feel the need to pay tribute to it in some way in the actual book? Sound off in the comments!
*This is a lyric from one of the CM playlist songs above. Can you guess which one? ;)
**This music video freaks me out a little. Although I’ve loved the song for years, I never saw the vid for it until after I figured out that my protagonist would be a supernatural water creature, so seeing one in the song that brought him to life is…eerie, to put it mildly!