One of the coolest aspects of writing a new book for me is deciding the tone of the story. I love figuring out who my characters are and because of who they are, where they will take their tale.
Part of determining who they are, is determining who they dance in the shower to. Does the character secretly love show tunes, and screams out “One Day More” at the top of his or her lungs, or is the character more inclined to listen to death metal and scream into the spray of water until their throat burns. Or, creepy yet…does the character hate music? Does the character think anything that can affect the mood is manipulation of some sort?
Usually when I’m writing, I hit random music on the playlist, a mix of all genres until I think…yeah, this is (insert character’s name here)’s song.
Sometimes I will have an idea of the character already, and I’ll try and find an anthem for them.
Back in my roleplaying days (yes I’m a proud dork) when you entered a chat room, you’d have a sound wave you could play that gave a short excerpt of music that represented your character. Of course you had to mail it to everyone who didn’t have it so they could hear it, but I always enjoyed knowing what music other role-players felt represented their characters.
I think that kind of stuck.
For each of my characters in the book On Edge, I had a song that I always thought of for them when they entered a scene.
My main character, LL, is a strong tough girl. Maybe a little too tough. For her, I like to listen to Esthero. That group has always signified strength for me. But her favorite band is Imagine Dragons, and she loves the song Radioactive, even though it has been grossly over-played in the past.
Haze, the graffiti artist LL falls in love with, has System of a Down on his Pandora.
Warp, LL’s hot-head brother—I swear every time I write him I am humming “Up In Here” by DMX.
Surge, one of LL’s two besties, is a massive Eminem fan, the older Shady stuff.
Liv, the other best friend, is a fan of Gwen Stefani…secretly. She’d never admit to having a high opinion of anyone.
For my next novel, I need to find new music for the surviving characters, and I think that’s going to be one of the more fun parts of plotting. Gotta have a playlist after all!
Anyone who has read my book, I’d love to know what music you think represents the characters as you’ve interpreted them.
I’d also like you to share some of your character’s theme songs. Or maybe even one for you personally.