I don’t write to music. Can’t do it. I don’t know if it’s the result of what I rather grandly call ‘classical training’ (I played the flute regularly from 9-18 and got to Grade 8) but I tend to get distracted by lyrics and harmonies and forget that I’m trying to write! I can write with all manner of distractions around me (children, BBC 5 Live radio, but that’s all discussion, animals), but if I actually put music on with the intention of writing, I just can’t concentrate. That doesn’t mean I don’t look to music for inspiration, though. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve been driving along in James, my Corsa (named after the gorgeously talented and highly intelligent James May, incidentally), and a song has come onto my ipod that suddenly makes me go ‘Yes! I’ve thought of a scene for the story!’
Quite a lot of these have happened over the time I was writing Far From the Tree, and, now I’m starting to think about book 2, still untitled, I’m hearing songs that are connected to the plotlines I’m going to write. Today, while driving my younger daughter back from nursery, I heard Loreena McKennit’s ‘The Mummer’s Dance’, and I immediately knew exactly what the opening chapter of book 2 should be. And I was surprised, because what I initially thought would be a standalone story is now going to become the basis for that chapter! Well, until I hear another song and I change my mind again, of course! This version is the one I’ve got on my ipod, and I like it best because it’s pacier, capturing a real sense of passion and urgency. I can’t of course, tell you what the scene it inspired me to write contains, but it’s going to be great fun to write 🙂
Lovely music – not heard of her before.
She’s great, isn’t she? I’ve got a weakness for modern folk, and she’s right up there with my favourites :).
Oh I love Loreena McKennit, she is such a wonderful artist! ‘The Visit’ is often playing in the background when I write. Isn’t that funny, another thing in common 🙂
Great minds, and all that (or crazy writers with worlds in their heads!). I only recently discovered Loreena McKennit, and it was a case of ‘Where have you been all my life?!’. I’ve always loved Clannad and Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac, and she seems to sit somewhere between the two :).