Summer is progressing along, and we’ve been hard at work here at Gelineau and King. Our first novella, A Reaper of Stone, is getting its final coat of polish, and getting all the various pieces lined up for its eventual release. Our second, Rend the Dark, is out to our Beta readers right now. And our third, which does not have a cool title yet, is being worked on every day. But with all that going on, I thought I would take a moment and reflect on something without which none of those things would have even come close to being accomplshed: music.
Both Joe and I have become pretty dependent on music to write to. For me, music is vitally important for a number of reasons. The first is that before the office, most of my writing was done at home, at the dining room table. Usually while my wife watched something on tv a few feet away from me. In order to drown out what she was watching, I needed something to isolate my mind. Second, while the events of a story or novel (or novella in this case) occurs in the theater of the mind, sometimes it sure doesn’t hurt to give that theater a little mood music and surround sound.
One of my favorite writing rituals is that before I begin a new project, I will sit down and try and compile a playlist of music that I think captures the mood and feel of whatever project I am working on. Sometimes, these are pretty spot on, like the exact song I would want on a soundtrack of a movie version of the story. Sometimes, its more of a general feeling. But I find the music does a lot to help really establish me in the world I am trying to create.
Now, the most interesting thing to me about music for writing is how intensely personal it is. What I’ve included here is mainly what I was listening to as I wrote out the novellas, but in most cases it is radically different than what Joe was listening to when he was developing the stories. Partly because we have very different musical tastes, but also because music moves and inspires everyone differently. I love that what is playing in our heads is so different from each other, and yet still feels so right for the work. Music is pretty amazing in that regard.
So today, I thought I would give you just one or two brief selections of the music that was at the heart of my writing the three novellas that are in place now. These are not necessarily the perfect songs to embody the exact scenes of the books, but they were what helped me get my fingers across the keys.
Take a listen to what’s here, and soon we’ll have the novellas out for you to read alongside these songs. And once you do, drop us a line and let us know what music you hear when you read our stuff. We would love to know.
A Reaper of Stone
The Last Starfighter
Rend the Dark
Florence and the Machine
Roan and Kay (title tba)
Now, remember when I was talking about how different Joe and I are with out musical inspiration. Here is what was on repeat for him while he was breaking the overall story for Roan and Kay.