Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Writing A Novel: Mood Music

As a 38-year-old, I've experienced nostalgia in many different ways. Sometimes, an old TV show will make me feel it or I'll sense it while eating something that I loved as a child. However, if I really want to feel nostalgic, I'll listen to music from a certain time period. If I hear anything from the '80s, I'm immediately whisked back to my childhood when big hair and Pac Man reigned supreme. Artists like Tori Amos and Alanis Morissette take me back to my college days in the mid-'90s. The memories are so vivid, it's practically like going back in a time machine for me.

That said, I like to listen to a particular type of music when writing because it gets me in the proper mood to tell my story. For instance, when I was writing BAND GEEK, I listened to a lot of R.E.M., Depeche Mode and B-52s, which were all groups that I loved (and still love) in high school. My friends and I would ride around blasting "People Are People" as we sung along to the radio; 20 years later, I still associate that song with those days. So when writing ABOUT high school, I wanted to get back into a teenage frame of mind. BAND GEEK doesn't take place in 1992 -- it's in the present, though I never actually mention a year in the text -- but those old songs helped me recall certain feelings that I had when I was a teen.

Since my latest novel takes place in college, I'm listening to a lot of Tori, Alanis and other mid-'90s artists. I'd forgotten how much I loved the Spin Doctors and that song, "I Would Walk 500 Miles." I'm still close with many of my college friends, but the memories are flooding back now that I'm writing about that era. And it's all because of the music!

I still haven't figured out what music from the 2000s makes me feel nostalgic. Perhaps it's because I got married in 2000 so that chapter in my adult life is just a big blur to me? Or maybe it's because not enough time has passed for me to feel nostalgic. I'm not sure. But I'll eventually find the proper tunes to take me back in time.

Please read and review REVENGE OF A BAND GEEK GONE BAD.

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