Music And Fantasy

I realize this is slightly off topic for a blog about the writing of fiction. No book that I am aware of comes with a soundtrack (though I read that this might become an e-book app in the not-too-distant future).

But I have found myself listening to the soundtracks of Lord of the Rings while writing the Alliance trilogy. I wrote yesterday in Left Coast Voices that I can write anywhere, anytime, and I believe it to be so.

Nonetheless, I realize that I do listen to music in the context of the book I am writing.  A Gardener’s Tale was written with the music of Lloyd Cole in my ears,  The Accidental Activist was written to Billy Bragg, and I just wrote a beat-era novel listening to jazz music.

But I want to pay tribute to the Lord of the Rings soundtracks (one for each movie). They are truly brilliant, truly inspiring. While I believe I can write anytime, anywhere, I am thankful that the music of Howard Shore together with Enya or Annie Lennox, who can simply transport me into the land of Odessiya (home of the Alliance series).

I fantasize when the Alliance series finds a home with a publisher that there is a movie deal for all the reasons that every author shares. But I also fantasize that someone with the talent of Howard Shore will be commissioned to write a soundtrack that can be so transformational in its own right.

I’m sure J.R.R. Tolkien is up there in Writer’s Heaven, puffing his pipe, and writing a new epic series (to be published as an ethereal or e-book). Perhaps he has his little white headphones on and is listening to a LOTR soundtrack as he writes.

Have a great week.

Alon

——————————————————————————————————

Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist and A Gardener’s Tale. He has written two fantasy novels and the first has been entered into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award in January 2012. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/and on Twitter (@elfwriter).

Advertisements

9 comments on “Music And Fantasy

  1. Michael says:

    Each of my characters has a playlist that I listen to while I write that POV. LOTR is definitely in the mix…but the soundtrack from the game MYST and its sequel RIVEN are fantastically creepy.

    • elveswriter says:

      Wow – that’s terrific, Michael. A soundtrack for each character and this keeps you in that character’s POV. I think that’s a great technique. I’ve read many how-to writing books – do not recall hearing that.

      Did you have the idea yourself?
      Best,
      Alon

      ALON SHALEV
      http://www.alonshalev.com/

      • Michael says:

        I dunno…it just sorta happened. I am writing an epic fantasy trilogy (pretty standard format) but I like listening to music while I write and my usual fare of Grunge-Ska-Heavy Metal-Acid-Gospel combo was not doing it for me, so I turned to epic movie soundtracks like Braveheart, Gladiator, 13th Warrior (an awesome middle eastern / viking score that I use for my Byzantine sailor stranded in ancient Finland…)
        The Myst/Riven Game soundtrack for my evil Mage is what started it all and I began trying to find music to fit each character. Now I just start out my writing session choosing my POV then setting up their playlist…and the words just flow.

        I Love It!

  2. tomsouthern says:

    Music and Fiction, Fiction and Music: not off topic at all.

    That both inspire the other is natural because both are created in the imagination. Both spawn creativity because they ignite creativity.

    Music is known for triggering right brain activity.

    Music and Fiction have always been linked for me. I couldn’t write if it wasn’t for music. My characters live and breathe music and can’t exist without it. One of my characters was created through the lyrics and atmosphere of Bowie’s “Wild is the Wind”.

    And I only truly discovered how to create characters when one character I was working on decided to put on a record. This act made character creation seem suddenly clear and simple.

    The song she chose is Dr. Hook’s “Ballad of Lucy Jordan”.

    Though what happens to “Lucy” is not what happens to my character, the theme is similar. As I listened to the song and watched my character respond to it, I knew that I had created a character that lived really because she *believed in herself*.

    This is the key to my creating believable characters: finding the “Play” button that turns them on, literally.

    So, Music and Fiction Off topic?

    I would encourage writers to listen to music and glean ideas from this music for their writing. More than that, writers should discover the music that their characters listen to because that is where their souls dwell.

    • elveswriter says:

      I really appreciate this, Tom. As you read, it is a new fusion for me (or more likely I didn’t recognize it).
      You don’t just connect a character to a certain song or score, the music helps you define the character? I love it! Thank you for your thoughtful response.

      Does anyone else work like Tom?

      Alon

      ALON SHALEV
      http://www.alonshalev.com/

  3. robstroud says:

    The value of mood music for writing is anything but “off topic.” Best of luck with your trilogy!

  4. Rosa says:

    Music and Fiction, Fiction and Music: not off topic at all.That both inspire the other is ntraual because both are created in the imagination. Both spawn creativity because they ignite creativity.Music is known for triggering right brain activity.Music and Fiction have always been linked for me. I couldn’t write if it wasn’t for music. My characters live and breathe music and can’t exist without it. One of my characters was created through the lyrics and atmosphere of Bowie’s “Wild is the Wind”.And I only truly discovered how to create characters when one character I was working on decided to put on a record. This act made character creation seem suddenly clear and simple. The song she chose is Dr. Hook’s “Ballad of Lucy Jordan”.Though what happens to “Lucy” is not what happens to my character, the theme is similar. As I listened to the song and watched my character respond to it, I knew that I had created a character that lived really because she *believed in herself*.This is the key to my creating believable characters: finding the “Play” button that turns them on, literally.So, Music and Fiction Off topic? I would encourage writers to listen to music and glean ideas from this music for their writing. More than that, writers should discover the music that their characters listen to because that is where their souls dwell.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s