Friday, July 16, 2010

Musical Inspiration

I'm now heavily into the prologue. Normally it doesn't take me longer than a day to write a chapter, but a prologue is different. It's the introduction to everything and it's very important to give the reader something they can understand right off the bat. This is a little tricky since the world I'm creating is highly fictional, but the prologue seems to be working so far. I'll let you know :)

I've seen a number of authors that will promote musical inspiration while writing and even go so far as create play lists. This is most common with YA literature and it seems to work well for them. But, I do have a problem with this. A play list... for a book... not a movie... a book... the written word... I see a slight contradiction with this.

Personally, I can't write at the same time as listening to music. Well, I could, but I wouldn't want to. If I did, I'd have no way of knowing how much came from my own imagination and how much came from the music. To me, and this may sound a tad harsh, I find listening to music at the same time as writing a form of plagiarism. It makes me feel like I'm stealing from an artist and I don't like that feeling. I'd much rather rely on and nurture my own imagination.

When a story or chapter is finished, there will definitely be songs that I feel would go well with it. If every single potential reader happened to be a personal friend of mine, all readers would agree. But in reality, I'll have readers I haven't met. It happens, though I do appreciate every reader. I feel I have no right whatsoever to dictate someone else's personal musical preference or substitute their imagination with my own. I'm not God, I'm no saint, I'm just a writer and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. My job is to write the story to the best of my ability. The rest is up to you.

Now, having said all of that, I freely admit I'll listen to specific bands or songs for inspiration. There's nothing wrong with using anything in life as inspiration. I see it as no different than going to a park and allowing the activity of the wildlife to be an inspiration. I'll listen to music while I'm doing research or between chapters and especially when I'm doing editing work which can be mind-numbingly boring.

So, I do have a point. Really. I've decided during those in between moments while working on this series, I will only listen to Skinny Puppy. It just so happens I have a huge collection of every single song they ever recorded. Plenty of inspiration. But don't take my word for it ;)

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