New Posts on Wednesdays and Saturdays -- er generally

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

music as a tool

For those of you with no interest in writing or reading romances, the following will be of little interest. I wrote it somewhere else as regarding the romance genre and decided to share it here.

Image from Deposit Photos and filter from Dreamscope

One of the 'secrets' to the romance genre, the well-known secrets, is that there is a happily ever after. That is not true with love stories, which can end happily or tragically. But a romance will get to the point where it all works out for the couple. It's a genre requirement.

What creates the best romances, however, is the belief it might not. He might get killed. She might leave him. They might decide they love each other but cannot work out a life together. That concern is what keeps readers interested, even knowing the end is guaranteed (unless it's a love story). The writer wants the reader to believe there might not be a HEA, which makes for a wonderful feeling when it happens.

One way I try to get that uncertainty into my books is by music. I only listen to music in two settings for my stories-- one is something dangerous, which can be a fight or fast horseback ride. I need an energy that isn't in my daily life and find it in the right music (western soundtracks are great for that).

The other time I need music is for the romantic scenes. Let's face it most writers are not constantly living love stories in their personal lives. We are facing all the normal conflicts that living with someone, raising a family, living in a community bring about. So to write a love scene, I have to get into a mood, and for me, music does it.

More importantly to get into a space where I can make myself believe this couple, in love or not, will not make it. There are certain songs that do that better than others.

This morning with writing such scenes, I'm using, It All Fades Away, sung by Steven Pasquale for the musical version of Bridges of Madison County. This man knows it didn't work out but he's not sorry for the memories. It is the kind of music that puts me in the mood to convince myself, and hopefully later readers, that the characters really believe they are about to lose their love.

3 comments:

Rain Trueax said...

That embed took forever to come in. Here's the link to it on YouTube if you want to hear it. He has a wonderful voice. It All Fades Away

Brig said...

That's interesting, I like music, and hadn't put together that combination as a motivation.

Rain Trueax said...

Sometimes, like for the paranormals, I put together a folder of the songs that will feel spooky, dangerous, or a little mystical along with the romantic to get the vibe right. Some writers do it for every book. I do it mostly for certain genres. I buy a lot of MP3s to have what I need at the time I need it. It's used pretty effectively by governments to enhance patriotism and a rah rah spirit. Wonder what today's music is doing to our culture-- hearing too, as I hear it blasting out of cars even with windows closed. lol