Thursday, November 10, 2011

Writing Exercise: Creating A Soundtrack For Your Novel

I got stuck yesterday.  Rather than performing my normal routine of staring at my laptop and pretending to work, I gave myself a challenge.  Since music is critical in my writing process, I turned my WIP into a soundtrack.  In other words, I went through my writing playlists and selected the song I feel best captures the events and mood of that scene.  Some were obvious; others proved more difficult - either a song wasn't the perfect fit, or, there were multiple "perfect fits" and it was hard choosing (sometimes I forget I'm not graded anymore).

The process was insightful and allowed me to look at the story from a different lens.  Here's what I came up with:

Chapter 1: SECOND CHANCE (Shinedown)

Chapter 2: BREATHE (Greenwheel)

Chapter 3: I'M JUST A KID (Simple Plan)

Chapter 4: JUST LIKE A PILL (Pink)

Chapter 5: LONELY DAY (System of a Down)

Chapter 6: MAD WORLD (Gary Jules with Michael Andrews)

Chapter 7: CREEP (Radiohead)

Chapter 8: LITHIUM (Evanescence)

Chapter 9: BRING ME TO LIFE (Evanescence)

Chapter 10: TIME AFTER TIME (Quietdrive)

Chapter 11: UPTOWN GIRL (Billy Joel)

Chapter 12: SOMEWHERE ONLY WE KNOW (Keane)

Chapter 13: IT'S GONNA RAIN (Bruno Mars)

Chapter 14: LOVE SONG (311)

Chapter 15: SET FIRE TO THE RAIN (Adele)

Chapter 16: HAIR (Lady Gaga)

Chapter 17: I DON'T CARE (Fall Out Boy)

Chapter 18: WE'RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT (Twisted Sister)

Chapter 19: DEFYING GRAVITY (Idina Menzel)

Chapter 20:  UPRISING (Muse)

Chapter 21: UNDER PRESSURE (Queen and David Bowie)

Chapter 22: MISERY (Soul Assylum)

Chapter 23: CLOSER TO THE EDGE (30 Seconds To Mars)

Chapter 24: FIX YOU (Coldplay)

Chapter 25: RUN (Snow Patrol)

Chapter 26: FALLEN (Sarah McLaughlin)

Chapter 27: DON'T CRY OUT LOUD (Melissa Manchester)


Chapter 29: STOP CRYING YOUR HEART OUT (Leona Lewis)

Can you think of a song that represents your WIP?


  1. Ha! That's brilliant! Love this. A very creative way of summarizing your chapters and looking at them differently. ;o) A song that represents my WIP? Will have to think about that. Something dark(ish) and foreboding, maybe like heavy metal or something?

  2. What if your book has like 500 chapters? And why is SYSTEM OF A DOWN in caps lock?

  3. You have an eclectic taste in music!
    I don't make an actual soundtrack, but there are albums and songs that fit my stories and inspired the writing.

  4. Oh, my man. That last question attempts to capture the things flying out of the opened box of Pandora. :}

    But, I can answer: It's Digital Bath by Deftones BY the String Tribute Players.


    Great playlist by the way.

    Write on!

  5. Chapter 4, 6, 15, 16 and 20 are my favorite songs and I listen to them everyday! Awesome choices, Paul. Music is my 1st inspiration. I cannot write a single word without listening to music.


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