At the writing date I had last Wednesday with two friends and fellow writers, my internet-friend-from-way-back-who-recently-moved-to-Indy Chel brought her CD wallet in. This mystified Chelsea, who is enough younger than us that a giant CD wallet full of burned mix CDs struck her as a charmingly old-fashioned item.
Chelsea and I have talked before about making soundtracks as a writing tool; it’s something I’ve been doing since I was in high school (the earliest ones were cassette tapes, but my dad was an early adopter of new technology, meaning we got a CD burner when they were still rarities). Chel and I have been exchanging fanfic and mix CDs with our friend Meach since the 90s, and I used to put a truly amazing amount of time into creating WinAmp playlists (uh, and skins) and mix CDs (often with “cover art” that I drew myself, first-person notes from characters, and on-disc art).
Since having a kid, though, the time I used to put into this seems to have mysteriously evaporated, so I’m extremely rusty; plus, I’ve had a computer upgrade but the new computer doesn’t have an optical drive. But I’ve been using Shazam to identify songs I like and then I’ve been using Pandora, Spotify, and YouTube to follow up.
At any rate, I still listen to my old playlists occasionally and still use music as a tool, just in slightly evolved ways. So, for your listening pleasure…
- Lilly Grant Novel: for this one I’ve been listening to a Pandora station. It’s set in the post-climate-change future, so I want a sort of futuristic vibe, but I’m still world-building, so I want options and suggestions. Pandora’s great for that.
— Peggy Larkin (@larkinplarkin) November 14, 2016
- Romantic Suspense Novel: But when you know exactly what you want, Spotify’s pretty handy. Here’s the current track list for the novel I’m working on with Chel (there are several other versions of both the soundtrack and the novel – this is the new soundtrack for the new concept, which will involve rewriting most of the 140k words we spit out in 2014. D’oh…). This will continue to get updated as I add and rearrange tracks – right now it’s still in its nascent stages. Like, if I were a chef, this would be a pile of ingredients and most of them wouldn’t make the final cut.
Bonus: Here’s one for what used to be fanfic but has morphed beyond all reasonable bounds and may eventually turn into my next project. I have about six “soundtracks” for this thing and it’s a giant sprawling mess, but I do think the playlists are pretty good. This one’s a finished list.
Anybody else out there want to share your inspirational tricks? Or help me figure out how to get GoogleMusic to be less obnoxious? Just kidding. That’s an impossible ask. (Google! You are so amazing at most things! Why is your music app so freaking terrible?? JUST BRING BACK WINAMP ALL I WANT IS FOR YOU TO PLAY MY PLAYLISTS STOP TRYING TO BE PANDORA-PLUS-ITUNES STOP TRYING TO MAKE FETCH HAPPEN)