Friday, September 18, 2009

Discovery of a Soundtrack

It's a little funny, in view of my love of lyrics, and the number of authors I follow who talk about soundtracks that I had resisted the process for so long. I am taking a discovery class with the wonderful Lani Diane Rich (she's planning to offer it again, online classes that are recorded if you miss them and forums for questions that occur outside of class).
What Lani (and others) call discovery is the part that I always called percolation. You know, you have an idea - I wish to write a story about a girl who screws up her life one night at a party, or about a girl who has been rebelling so long against her parents she's forgotten to pay attention to what she's rebelling against - and then you let the idea simmer and percolate for a bit before you start putting words on the page. Or you write some stuff just to start to get a feel for it.
Well, within the course our homework (most of which involves no writing) focuses on things you can do to assist your brain with that percolation process. And week one was creating a soundtrack. And I kind of thought it was one of those things that was silly but I would do it.
And of course after I found the first few songs it totally made sense. It forced me to think about my characters and my setting in different ways. And in some ways the fact that I cannot find a song that's just right for my heroine's mom is still progress, because I know enough to know the stuff I found isn't right.
So, here's a sampling of what I have (for now):
Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child by Christopher Parkening with Jubilant Sykes
I Will Not be Sad in This World by Djivan Gasparyan and Vachagan Avakian
Nobody's Baby Now by Headless Heroes
One Monkey by Gillian Welch
Love Song by Sara Bareilles
Hours Pass Like Centuries by Taken by Trees
At This Point in My Life by Tracy Chapman