October 27, 2007 | The stories,Tuning the instrument
Some authors are plot-driven, others are character-driven. If you think that really means driven to insanity by voices in their heads, you’re probably pretty close to the mark. It’s probably why we learn to write books out of pure self-preservation: got to get those voices out of our skulls and down on paper!
But bless those darling characters’ hearts, they don’t talk all the time – especially when you’re staring at a page with a deadline looming over your head. That’s when I sometimes think I’m fumbling around in my brain’s dark caverns, hollering, “Yoohoo! Anybody want to come out and play? How about sharing a nice bit of gossip on your nearest and dearest? Or maybe your worst enemy? Hmm? Willing to listen to all your problems?” And all I hear is the echo of my own voice, drat it all!
Fortunately, my heroes and heroines can [usually] be lured in by playing their theme songs. Each theme song tells me quite emphatically what their core issue is in the relationship – and it’s not always what I expected when I started the book. Mercifully, they always tell me early on what their theme song is. (Well, except for one heroine – and that book is known to my friends as “The Tale of the Ever-Morphing Characters.”) Once I have the theme songs, I can play them and my hero and heroine will talk to me about their emotions. It’s a blessing that’s kept me going more than once.
As befits an entirely different book, BOND OF BLOOD’s hero expressed his preference for an entirely different theme song. Don Rafael chose “Drowning” by the Backstreet Boys. Absolutely and unequivocally.
“Girl, you leave me breathless
But it’s okay
‘Coz you are my survival.”
You can read a more precise version of the lyrics here.
The Backstreet Boys’ video is very elegant and romantic.
As befits a Spanish knight who’s lived for more than seven centuries, Don Rafael likes many more artists than the Backstreet Boys! He opened my eyes to a wonderful of artists, while I was writing BOND OF BLOOD. But that’s a subject for another blog, just like the theme songs for my other characters.
Hope music brings you as much joy and comfort!