Monday, May 19, 2014

30-Week Writing Survey: Week 7: Music



Today's question: Do you listen to music while you write? What kind? Are there any songs you like to relate/apply to your characters?

The short answer to this of course is no. I don't listen to any music while I write. I can't. I'm an auditory learner. Whatever I hear will be the thing that gets my attention much more readily than what I'm seeing. I don't tune it out or get it in the background of what I'm doing; I focus on it pretty much exclusively. Though I can still do things like chores or drawing if I'm listening to music; just not verbal things like writing. 

The second part of this question is very applicable though. My novels often gain extensive soundtracks! I'm thinking that when I have a particular work on the brain, I naturally start associating certain songs with them, but it's kind of uncanny how quickly I will gather a strangely appropriate playlist for characters. 

Here I'll show you my playlists for each with illustrative quotes. But it does get quite long, so I will do one of those nifty cut things. Beneath are four lists with silly titles:

  1. "Magick" for Delia of Bad Fairy
  2. "Dreaming" for Cassie/Dia of Finding Mulligan
  3. "Unique" for Ivy of The House That Ivy Built
  4. "Summertime" for Nick of Stupid Questions 
Just click the "read more" to see the lists, with the applicable lyrics pulled out to show you why they remind me of the characters. :) 

Delia of Bad Fairy has a pretty good list. Some fit her very well, and others just kind of matched with her dark side, her magickal-ness, or her uniqueness. Um, and she's very dramatic, so there's some pretty heavy music here. 

Magick: Delia of Bad Fairy
  1. Delta Goodrem - Silence Be Heard - "I'm glad I didn't give you the best of me, don't you see that / The candles burned out long ago / Now I'm as cold as ice, I know / I tried to be a friend but you just threw it all away / Is this what I get for being a good person to you? / And all of the things I'm finding out now, how could you do? / But I will not change, I will just grow, from now on I know / Let the silence be heard"

  2. Alchemy VII - The Magick - "The magick - it's alive and the power is in you / It's magick, when you're the avatar / The magick, when the moment is your destiny"

  3. Coven 13 - Book of Shadows - "Deep inside of the shadows / Dark and Light intertwine / Now at last I can truly see / When your voice becomes mine"

  4. Bel Canto - Sun - "Even if I am tempted I won't apologize to you / Those torn-out pages in my agenda are a few too many. . . . You've got some tender arms to enfold you and still you're spiteful / My soul is far from redemption, I must submit to what I've done and it's too late for me now to beg for mercy . . . No, you will never see me surrender, I'm gonna keep my head held high and I know now in whom I can trust--nobody"

  5. Blackmore's Night - Magical World - "Walls built between us, miles separate us / Yet in our hearts, we share the same dream / Feelings so strong, we just must carry on / On to our Magical World"

  6. Autumn Loon - Goddess Help Me Walk My Path - "Turn, turn, the wheel must turn / Turn turn, it ever turns / Everything must come to pass / Goddess help me walk my path"

  7. Kenny Klein - Fairy Queen - "Fairy Queen that rides the darkness / With softly jingling bridle bells / Shadow of the ancient Mother / That on the wings of autumn dwells"

  8. Jewel - Flower - "She's a rare breed with violet eyes and leafy limbs / In conversations she looks for cracks to dig her roots deep in . . . She's always known that there was something more / There's this hunger in her belly like an instinct it tells her that there's something more"

  9. Indigo Girls - Touch Me Fall - "I'm waking from a dream / The neighborhood is green / All the sounds I've missed all the years / Come down to wedding, deaths, and fears / And all I've heard has been in vain / Like water on a stain / Touch me, I'm so beautiful / Rub your hands across my head just like this / Come with me, it's not worth it if you don't / Are you hiding? I am hiding"

  10. Velvet Hammer - We Do Not Die - "We do not die, we are not gone, we are alive, we are just on the other side"

  11. Philip Riley & Jayne Elleson - Pictish Girl - "Wild and dark she runs in Pagan black, within her world"

  12. Velvet Hammer - Come Down - "I want to be more than I ever dreamed / Stretch my arms across the sky / Can you hear me call your name? / I think it's time we walked together / Come to me, I'm not afraid"

  13. Mediæval Bæbes - So Spricht Das Leben - "So sayeth life, the world is mine / Flowers bloom and birds sing for me / I am the day and the sunlight / So spricht das Leben die Welt ist mein / So sayeth death, the world is mine / Your daylight is but a vain display / Stars and moon sink in eternal night / So spricht der Tod die Welt ist mein"

  14. Seridina - Hecate - "Waning moon, darkness grows in my blood, my force glows / Time to rest, wounds are healed, look to self, all's revealed"

  15. Wyrd Sisters - Warrior Priestess - "I was a lost and angry youth / There were no tears in my eyes / I saw no justice in my world / Only the echoes of her cries / I cannot fight, I cannot a warrior be / It's not my nature nor my teaching / It is the womanhood in me"

  16. Cat Power - Metal Heart - "Losing the reasons why / You're losing the calling that you've been faking . . . It's damned if you don't and it's damned if you do / Be true 'cause they'll lock you up in a sad sad zoo / Oh hidy hidy hidy, what'cha tryin' to prove? / By hidy hidy hiding, you're not worth a thing"

  17. Darren Hayes - Darkness - "Been spending so much time underground / I guess my eyes adjusted to the lack of light / I got covered in darkness . . . Ever wonder why I never really truly connect / Although my eyes are open / I can hold your gaze but I am never connected . . . Run away to nowhere / And it's hard to take control / When your enemy's old and afraid of you / You'll discover that the monster you were running from is the monster in you"

  18. Mazzy Star - Fade Into You - "You live your life / You go in shadows / You'll come apart and you'll go black / Some kind of night into your darkness / Colors your eyes with what's not there"

  19. Wendy Rule - Circe - "Come to the woman with the snakes in her hair / I offer honeyed wine of Lethe / I offer a dark love"

  20. Wendy Rule - Hecate - "Gone are the leaves on the Hecate trees / Shed to the wind till her skeleton claws the sky / I am alone in a forest of memory / Dragging behind me the howl of the winter"

  21. Wendy Rule - The Raven Song - "I saw three ravens yesterday / One stayed behind, two flew away / Which one remained I cannot say"

  22. Vienna Teng - Drought - "Summer move forward and stitch me the fabric of fall / Wrap life in the brilliance of death to humble us all / How sweet is the day, I'm craving a darkness / As I sit tucked away with my back to the wall / And the taste of dried-up hopes in my mouth / And the landscape of merry and desperate drought / How much longer dear angels, let winterlight come / And spread your white sheets over my empty house"

Next, we have Cassandra from Finding Mulligan. For someone in such an unusual situation, there were a lot of songs that spoke to me about her! But I guess some of that is just that there simply are a crapload of people out there who are mooning over someone they can't have. It's just that usually the person doesn't live in another universe. Hmph. 

 Dreaming: Cassie/Dia of Finding Mulligan

  1. Amanda Abizaid - A Place in Time - "So long ago, another life / I could feel your heart beat / It's not a dream, remember us / I can see it in your eyes"

  2. Tori Amos - Ribbons Undone - "She's a girl, rising from a shell / Running to spring / It is her time, it is her time / Watch her run with ribbons undone . . . She runs like a fire does, just picking up daisies / Comes in for a landing, a pure flash of lightning"

  3. ATC - She Moves - "She moves her body, moves her feet. She feels the rhythm like it is her heartbeat. Up and down she jumps to the beat. She is living in a fantasy"

  4. Avalon Rising - God Walks Among Us - "God walks among us / She doesn't wear shoes . . . The stars adorn her hair / She waits outside in weather/whether we choose to care / She holds herself hostage / To ransom our souls / She stands in the doorway / Until we are whole . . . God wakes among us / Stands in our shoes"

  5. Sara Bareilles - One Sweet Love - "Just about the time the shadows call / I undress my mind and dare you to follow / Paint a portrait of my mystery / Only close my eyes and you are here with me . . . A heart I'd swear I'd recognize is made out of my own devices / Could I be wrong? . . . Sleepless nights you creep inside of me / Paint your shadows on the breath that we share / You take more than just my sanity / You take my reason not to care / No ordinary wings I'll need / The sky itself will carry me back to you / The things I dream that I can do I'll open up the moon for you / Just come down soon . . . As I do, I don't look don't touch don't do anything / But hope that there is a you"

  6. Bel Canto - Dreaming Girl - "I am such a peculiar girl / Have my dreams and thoughts in another world / But I live my life / So lost in time, so lost in space / I belong to an unknown human race / But I live my life / Perhaps, I will come back again / But I, I don't bother how or when"

  7. Björk - Bachelorette - "Game we're playing is life / Love is a two way dream / Leave me now, return tonight / Tide will show you sweet bliss / If you forget my name / You will go astray"

  8. Duran Duran - Ordinary World - "What is happening to me? / Crazy, some'd say / Where is my friend when I need you most? / Gone away / But I won't cry for yesterday / There's an ordinary world somehow I have to find / And as I try to make my way to the ordinary world / I will learn to survive"

  9. Nelly Furtado - Turn Off the Light - "I'm searching for things that I just cannot see / Why don't you don't you don't you come and be with me . . . Where is the love that I'm looking to find / It's all in me, can't you see, why can't you, why can't you see it's all in me . . . And I say follow me follow me follow me down down down down 'til you see all my dreams / Not everything in this magical world is quite what it seems"

  10. Delta Goodrem - The Analyst - "Prepare yourself to meet the girl who cannot sleep / Dividing every question 'til the questions are complete / Every twisted tongue she studies everyone / She won't leave any stone unturned the night is oh so young / Oh oh she's traveling back in time / Questioning every line that someone said / Oh oh she's trying to understand / Free her mind she's always the analyst / Silent space the culprit the catalyst / Trying to make sense of her life"

  11. Missy Higgins - The Sound of White - "Like a freeze-dried rose, you will never be / What you were, what you were to me in memory . . . And if I listen to, the sound of white / Sometimes I hear your smile, and breathe your light / Yeah if I listen to, the sound of white / You're my mystery. One mystery. My mystery. One mystery. / My silence solidifies, until that hollow void erases you / Erases you so I can't feel at all / But if I never feel again, at least that nothingness / Will end the painful dream, of you and me"

  12. David Lanz and Paul Speer - Whispered in Signs - "I know your heart remembers everything it needs to know / Awakened from its slumber, everything it needs to know right now / Listen to the sound, the sound of roaring silence / In a place we knew before where there is no word for violence / On the shore I see you now, walking to forever / Taking everything you need, everything you need right now / Tell me the dreams you're having, whispered in signs / Constantly scenes are changing but the truth always shines"

  13. Cyndi Lauper - The Calm Inside the Storm - "I can live my life playing hide and seek / But when I look inside it's hard to make believe / And lately you seem so far away / I wish I could say something but I don't know what to say"

  14. Cyndi Lauper - The Faraway Nearby - "Out in the faraway nearby / Can you hear me call? / Out in the faraway nearby / I'm breaking down the walls / 'Til you're here to stay / Out from the faraway . . . Short nights, long dreams, something happens in between / Then a weird feeling, like you're here but still you're gone"

  15. Ben Lee - Whatever It Is - "You're dreaming, and you're dreaming, and you're dreaming / I turn to you and say - awake is the new sleep, awake is the new sleep / So wake up. And do it, whatever it is."

  16. Lillix - It's About Time - "I hate you, I love you / I just can't remember to forget you / Who are you, who needs you? / You make me feel alive, I die, so high / I'm crawling on the ground / And I found I can fly / One of these days it all comes together / One of those days that goes on forever / Think it sounds crazy? Maybe, whatever / What's it all about?"

  17. Madonna - Ray of Light - "Faster than the speeding light she's flying / Trying to remember where it all began / She's got herself a little piece of Heaven"

  18. Charlotte Martin - On Your Shore - "Now I'm held hostage in my head with every word you said / God all those lessons in my past I spit them out so fast I see myself"

  19. Mandy Moore - Only Hope - "Sing to me the song of the stars / Of your galaxy dancing and laughing and laughing again / When it feels like my dreams are so far / Sing to me of the plans that you have for me over again / So I lay my head back down / And I lift my hands and pray to be only yours, I pray, to be only yours / I know now, you're my only hope"

  20. Oingo Boingo - We Close Our Eyes - "We close our eyes and dream and the world has turned around again"

  21. Happy Rhodes - The Revelation - "There are no dreams / There is no sleep / There are no treasures / For this little girl to keep / The only reality isn't real at all"

  22. Rachael Sage - Down My Spine - "Woman lies awake / Dreaming like Alice / In some sequined wonderland / Still hallucinating that her dark prince / Is gonna come and take her hand"

  23. t.A.T.u. - We Shout - "I will forget my dreams / Nothing is what it seems / I will affect you, I will protect you / From all the crazy schemes . . . Everything that you feel / Is everything that I feel / So when we dream / We shout"

  24. Traveling Fates - The Pixie Can't Sleep - "Dreams are coming wild and still / Dreams are coming in / She's banished back to the dreaming, just forget her / Love is a dream without a world"

  25. Within Temptation - Memories - "In this world you tried not leaving me alone behind / There's no other way, I pray to the gods let him stay / The memories ease the pain inside, and now I know why / All of my memories keep you near / In silent moments, imagining you here / All of my memories keep you near / In silent whispers, silent tears"

  26. Gary Wright - Dream Weaver - "Ooh dream weaver / I believe you can get me through the night / Ooh dream weaver / I believe we can reach the morning light / Fly me high through the starry skies / Maybe to an astral plane / Cross the highways of fantasy / Help me to forget today's pain"

Ivy from THTIB has a fairly short one even though she is the oldest of the characters I still "talk" to. I chalk that up to her being probably the most unusual person I've written about as well; there just aren't too many songs that honestly sum her up, and some of the ones I threw in there are mainly because they mention her name. But here they are. 

Unique: Ivy of The House That Ivy Built

  1. ATC - Mind Machine - "Soaring through the clouds together / We can travel on forever / Through the sky you and I / Back to Earth again / And we're in a mind machine . . . Take my hand, you'll understand / The wonders I have seen"

  2. The Mamas and the Papas - For the Love of Ivy - "Somebody hide me from the love of Ivy / It takes up all of your time to fall in love with Ivy."

  3. india.arie - Video - "I'm not the average girl from your video / And I ain't built like a supermodel / But I learned to love myself unconditionally"

  4. Barbie Young - Cartoon Heroes - "It's all an orchestra of strings / Doing unbelievable things / Frame by frame, to the extreme / One by one we're making it fun"

  5. Phil Collins - Strangers Like Me - "I can see there's so much to learn / It's all so close and yet so far / I see myself as people see me / Oh, I just know there's something bigger out there / I wanna know, can you show me / I wanna know about these strangers like me . . . These emotions I never knew / Of some other world far beyond this place / Beyond the trees, above the clouds / I see before me a new horizon"

  6. Tori Amos - The Wrong Band - "She said it's time I open my eyes / Don't be afraid to open your eyes / Maybe she's right"

  7. Anastasia - Once Upon a December - "Far away, long ago / Glowing dim as an ember, / Things my heart used to know / Things it yearns to remember"

  8. Primal Scream - Ivy Ivy Ivy - "I can see and hear you / I just can't get near you / Ivy Ivy, oh you destroy me yes you do"

  9. Jocelyn Enriquez - So Fabulous, So Fierce - "Here I am, gonna stand my ground / Nothin' in the world's gonna bring me down / Hear me yell and hear me roar / I am somethin' that you can't ignore . . . So fabulous, so fierce / So beautiful, so freaky"

  10. Nelly Furtado - I'm Like a Bird - "I'm like a bird, I'll only fly away / I don't know where my soul is, I don't know where my home is"

  11. Five For Fighting - Superman - "Wish that I could cry / Fall upon my knees / Find a way to lie / About a home I'll never see . . . I can't stand to fly / I'm not that naïve / Men weren't meant to ride / With clouds between their knees"

  12. America - Walking Man's Road - "I'm hungry, weary, but I cannot lay me down / The rain comes, dreary, but there's no shelter I have found / It will be a long time till I find my abode / Here I am on Man's road, walking Man's road"

  13. Soulwax - Flying Without Wings - "Everything you try to conceal / Is everything you want to reveal / Flying without wings / I wish I just couldn't feel a thing"

  14. Anastacia - Fly to the Sky - "Fly to the sky / Feel no sorrow . . . "

  15. Hilary Duff - Fly - "Can you hear it calling? / Can you feel it in your soul? / Can you trust this longing? / And take control, fly / Open up the part of you that wants to hide away"

  16. Hilary Duff - I Am - "I am special / I am beautiful / I am wonderful, and powerful, unstoppable / Sometimes I'm miserable / Sometimes I'm pitiful / But that's so typical of all the things I am"

And now, as for my most recent protagonist from Stupid Questions, Nick, I haven't really gathered a lot of songs for him. Which is weird because his relationship is probably the most traditional one I've written about, despite it happening between pretty weird people. Most of his story involves chasing a confused, naïve, messed-up girl and trying to face his own brokenness. Here are some songs that remind me of him and how he relates to his love interest, Summer.

Summertime: Nick of Stupid Questions

  1. Pink - Glitter in the Air - "Have you ever hated yourself for staring at the phone / Your whole life waiting on the ring to prove you're not alone"

  2. Melanie C - Suddenly Monday - "The end of the day and you're still around.
    My head's in the clouds, feet on the ground."

  3. Mika - I See You - "You mean the world to be but you'll never know / You could be cruel to me / While we're risking the way that I see you"

  4. Alanis Morissette - Head Over Feet - "You're the best listener that I've ever met / You're my best friend / Best friend with benefits / What took me so long / I've never felt this healthy before / I've never wanted something rational"

  5. Ani DiFranco - As Is - "What bugs me / Is you believe what you're saying / What bothers me / Is that you don't know how you feel"

  6. Ricki-Lee - Stay With Me - "I know you've been hurt before, but babe I'm not from that world / So why you all insecure, when what we have here is so pure / Why you're always accusing me / Confusing me, you're losing me"

Obviously quite a lot of music seems relevant to my characters. :)


  1. Hah, I have unofficial soundtracks for my characters/novels too. Few months back, I convinced myself that the Nine Inch Nails' song "The Four of Us Are Dying" was my sci-fi novel's pretend-theme-song >.>

    Sadly, my playlists aren't as detailed as yours since I don't actually pay attention to lyrics. (Which might be one of the many reasons I can listen to music while writing--I'm not super concentrated on it >_>)

    But yeah. I gather songs based on how they feel to me and associate them with my imaginary people. It's quite fun :P

    1. I guess I'm just very word-nerdy even when it comes to music. :) I'm very musical too though, and it distracts me a lot when it's there, so I have to pay attention to it.