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Monday, June 7, 2010

Music Monday: Character's Playlists Edition # 1

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Brainstorming song of the day: Gavin's Playlist- (Listen to it below)

Hey, aces! So, as promised, every Monday we are going to combine our love of music and writing. This Monday we wanted to discuss how you can use music to help shape your characters. A lot of times when writing, you have an idea of what you want your characters to do, say, or get into- but more often than not, your character has not been fully shaped and developed. Music is a good way to help round out characters. Think about what kind of artists and songs your character would listen to. If you can have a general idea of the genre of the music then you can use the songs, artists, and lyrics to help you figure out exactly who your character is.

For Example, in Pam's completed manuscript, Wants (this novel is gonna transform YA when it gets published), there are four POVs and each character has a unique, vivid, and striking personality.

One of the characters, 17 yo Gavin, is a guy who marches to the beat of his own drum. When Pam had a dream about this novel, Gavin looked like the lovely actor, Joseph Gordon Levitt (one of Quita's husbands) therefore, take a moment to revel in his beauty:

Ok, back to the post at hand:

Gavin's non-conforming personality is not just demonstrated through his sarcastic nature, or through things like embracing an old and slightly dirty hoodie, or even through the fact that he reads a classic novel that he almost always has in his pocket, but also through his obscure and rebellious taste in music.

If Gavin were to make a playlist, it would look a little like this:

  1. "Let It Be Me" - Ray LaMontange
  2. "Gravity"- Sarah Bareilles
  3. "If You Don't Wanna Love Me"- James Morrison
  4. "Your Ex-Lover is Dead"- The Stars
  5. "Let Down"- Dead by Sunrise
  6. "Giving Up the Gun"- Vampire Weekend
  7. "If it Kills Me"- Jason Mraz
  8. "The Garden"- Mirah
  9. "Set the Fire to the Third Bar"- Snow Patrol ft. Martha Wainwright
  10. "A Million Ways to be Cruel"- OK Go

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

The use of music helps to round out what kind of person Gavin is- how he'll react in certain situations or even what kinds of things he may say to his peers.

So, think about your own character(s) in your completed work(s) or your WIP(s) and create some playlists for them, you'll be surprised how much it'll help you develop your character and possibly move along your plot. Leave a comment and share what kinds of music your character(s) might listen to.


Jaime Reed said...

Oh yay! FIRST! Great post. I do the same thing for my characters. I even draw them out. But I use music per scene not character, even though that is a GOOD idea. awesome!! And I'm stealing some of ur music for my MP3 player. So nah! :P

Tahereh said...

great post! and such a cool idea!!

Sarah Enni said...

I needed so much more time than that to revel in JGL's beauty. *swoon* And, seems like Gavin has watched some So You Think You Can Dance? "The Garden" and "If It Kils Me" are two of my all time favorite dances ever on that show!!

Marquita Hockaday said...

Sarah- Oh yes, Gavin is a SYTCD fan :) No, he would have heard of these songs before the rest of the world b/c he is majorly cool like that! And I love the performances too btw. And I will fight someone over JGL just so you know! Jaime- using music per scene is awesome, too! I'm going to try that. And feel free to steal the music, just make sure you return the favor one day.

Racquel Henry said...

I'm lovin the music mondays! This is such a great idea (to ceate a character playlist). I also LOVE music, so I think I might try this with one of my characters. 59 more days :)