Musical Muse

“You know, one of the tragedies of real life is that there is no background music.”

That quote from author Annie Proulx says it all—life would be so much cooler with a soundtrack, wouldn’t it? I mean, let’s be honest, at one time or another, we’ve all imagined our lives already have a soundtrack, right?

For me, music makes everything—including writing—better. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love any and all genres of music. As a writer, it ignites my imagination and my muse. I have been known to write entire scenes that were sparked by one line in a love song, and every story I’ve written contains lyrics or references to songs (although that will change as each story gets published). Each has its own playlist, and I can easily recall the way the songs impacted my writing. I still listen to Sanctuary’s playlist while I edit or futz around with other self-publishing tasks

A couple of examples: the title of my debut novel, Sanctuary, came from the song And So It Goes, which is and always will be my favorite song by Billy Joel. The lyrics struck a heartwarming chord, and it seemed a fitting choice.

Going a bit further back, the very first story I wrote was a modern Pride and Prejudice variation called Dance the Tide, which featured a guitar-playing Will Darcy. It was posted online at a couple of fan fiction sites, and at one point in the story, he surprises Elizabeth Bennet at a bar (during an exceedingly low point in their relationship) and sings to her. For that particular scene, I included the song I Won’t Give Up, by Jason Mraz. It had all the right lyrics and all the feels to put readers into Will’s frame of mind. The simple, heartfelt words effectively communicated his sorrow, his longing, his heartbreak—and his hope.

Dance the Tide was posted online almost ten years ago, but every once in a while, I’ll get a message from a reader who says, “I just heard that song again, and every time I hear it, I think of your story and that scene.”

Music has the ability to evoke specific emotions or images or memories, and they, in turn, help to provide some of the inspiration and vision that enable me to create a story. For me, that’s the power of music.

***

I’ve included And So It Goes and I Won’t Give Up for your listening pleasure! I hope you enjoy them.

And So It Goes
I Won’t Give Up

9 thoughts on “Musical Muse

  1. I have an ever growing P&P song list. Recently, the lyrics and emotion of the song “Shameless” by Garth Brooks struck me as 100% Darcy. Speaking of Billy Joel, his song “For The Longest Time” also fits the bill!

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    1. Hi Paige! It’s amazing how music can inspire. I already have playlists for stories I haven’t written yet, but just know the basic outline of. Certain songs can really motivate me to write, so I just have to use that and go with it! Thanks!

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  2. I have always loved it when there are music references made in a variation. If I don’t know the song I will stop reading and go to YouTube and look it up. I absolutely love a musical Darcy. We’re the books you mentioned ever published? Are they still available somewhere? I only discovered JAFF in December of 2018, so I’m a relative newcomer to fan fiction. I’d love to read your musical muse-inspired work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Marie! Sanctuary is coming soon – it will be up for presale on August 7th, with a cover reveal that day on Austenesque Reviews! And I hope to publish Dance the Tide sometime next year. Neither story is available online anymore, sorry about that! Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Love the songs! I can just picture Darcy singing that to Elizabeth! I have always loved music and often lyrics make me think of Darcy and Elizabeth.
    I really like the playlists that Cat Gardiner posts with her books (obviously this is easier with modern stories!!)
    Congratulations on the upcoming release of Sanctuary, I look forward to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Glynis! I definitely plan on at least listing the playlists in my books when they’re published. I’m glad you’re looking forward to Sanctuary, thank you! Can’t believe it’s only a month away.

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  4. It’s one of my favorite scenes too! And happily, it provoked a really strong response in readers, more so than I ever expected. Thanks Ebbie!

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