Music. Honestly, what would we do without music?
If you think about it, music is truly an essential part of our lives. I can think of a million instances where music has single-handedly changed my mood, my thoughts, my emotions…or even my life! Or times when I have said, “Did they write that song about me?!?!”
Some of my most favorite fun memories of going out with my friends wasn’t being at the actual bar or club. It was in the car driving to the place. But there was a trick to it. You gotta let the right music pump you up for where ever you are going. For example, every Thursday night we would pile up in my car and go to a dive bar downtown that hosted an 80’s themed night. So what kind of music would get us ready for a night filled with frizzy hair and rad clothes? 80’s music, duh!
How about when you are making out with your boyfriend/girlfriend on a school night at the lake? You know whatever song is playing softly in the background is going to determine the speed and intensity of that kiss, right? Come on. We all think it while it’s happening.
Or what about when you are feeling down on yourself? When you decide to take a drive alone, to briefly escape whatever it is that has got you upset or sad or feeling like your world is crumbling.
Music can give you perspective on life. It can help you through difficult situations. Or simply just brighten your day. It can make work go by faster. It can set the right mood for a romantic evening. It can put a little bounce in your step when you are shopping at your favorite clothing store.
And…it can be the perfect motivator for writing.
There were many parts of my novel where music influenced what was happening. I tried to visualize my book as a movie. I imagined seeing the scene on the big screen, and that helped determine what the right music for that part would be.
Don’t get me wrong, I love every inch of my book. Every paragraph, every sentence, every word, every letter. But the best part about writing “Turning Grace” was the Tristen and Grace first kiss scene. It was very important for me to make that scene really stand out. Grace had been wanting Tristen for so long. And if you are me, you would know that a first kiss is, hopefully, one of the best feelings in the world. It could be cosmic if it’s right.
It happens when they are at a party, when they are dancing to Grace’s favorite song. The music is loud. Everyone else around them is dancing. There is romantic tension between the two of them. The bass is pumping through Grace, like electric pulses coursing through her veins. They are moving to the music together at the same speed, grazing one another with light touches.
It was vital that the song I was listening to, which turns out to be the actual song they were dancing to, while writing that scene be a song that could truly put two people in that position. Something that would cause two people to dance closely together and smile and just enjoy a moment of total bliss.
I had a playlist for writing my novel. Sometimes I would just let Pandora decide what song was going to play for the scene, which could be fun. But most of the time, there were certain songs that would inspire the moment. And I wasn’t picky at all. My playlist ranges from genres like hip hop, rock, indie, oldies, and even classical.
I honestly may not have been able to write some parts of my book without the inspiration of the perfect song. And besides that, I may not have gotten through certain times in my life without music. I sometimes wish that I was musical. That I could play an instrument or sing so that I can actually MAKE music. But then I remember how uncoordinated I am and that I can’t carry a tune to save my life 🙁
Here are a few of the songs that helped me write “Turning Grace”.