So one thing that I've definitely noticed now that I've written a couple of manuscripts is that music DEFINITELY helps boost my creative brain cells. This probably isn't anything revelatory, but it really kicked in for me this past weekend when I was walking the dog and listening to The Killers over and over again. They have a theme running through a lot of their songs that sort of echos small town life - the joy, the despair, the claustrophobia - and I found, while out with the pooch, that the songs almost played as background music for me while I ruminated my characters and their next plot development. Like, I could see the songs playing in the movie trailer, and while on this walk (and listening to said music), I worked through the next part of my book. Something clicked in to place for me, and voila, I knew what I had to write.
This isn't new for me - when I wrote TOML, I was definitely influenced by more female-oriented songs about loss, longing, regret, rebirth, and even now, whenever I hear a song like Chantel Kraviazuk's Time or Sheryl Crow and Sting's Always On Your Side, I think of my characters and how those songs shaped them (and my writing process). Ditto the Ben Folds song, The Luckiest for The Department of Lost and Found. But still, this weekend was a good reminder to me that sometimes, I just have to let my brain go, listen to the literal music and see where it takes me. Try it - if you're a music obsessive like me, it might work.
Anyone else use this technique? If so, what are you listening to now?