Thursday, February 9, 2012

My Method Writing

Hello Friends,

  When I'm deep inside my drafting cave I often go into a 'method acting' mental place, whereby I am IN the world and AM the characters. Sometimes to the point of total immersion, wearing the clothes that the characters might wear, decorating my writing cave in a way that evokes the setting, and drinking and/or eating the kinds of food they'd be eating. I surround my space with tokens and images and languages and smells and sounds that ground me to my WIP's world. (needless to say, I have a uniquely odd collection of...random stuff.)

  Music, in particular, inspires me. 

(That moment when a song is so powerful it gives me goosebumps? Damn, I love that.)

  Music helps me 'get in character', in the mood/mindset I need to sink into to write a particular scene. Especially the moody, sad scenes. I'm sure many of you do this, too.

  I am always searching searching searching (these days, usually on Spotify. the 'related artists' feature is very useful.) for new songs. And I thought you might too.

 And, since I am currently in drafting mode (a YA magical realism), I thought I'd share a few of the songs on my current repeat playlist. 
Perhaps they will inspire you, as well.

**So, let me start by saying anything by Fink or Civil Twilight is a big YES for me.

Letters From The Sky by Civil Twilight:

In My Veins by Andrew Belle:

All This Could Have Been Yours by Shooter Jennings:

Cannonball by Damien Rice:

Breathe Me by Sia:

Yet by Switchfoot:

Okay, I'll stop now, because I could go on and on and on. 

Oh, and because I think this is boss and I want it and hey, DMX, yo:

I'd love to hear about the songs inspire YOU the most. 

**Please remember to buy songs responsibly, ethically, legally...the same way you wish your book(s) to be purchased.


"No days, perhaps, of all our childhood are ever so fully lived as those that we had regarded as not being lived at all; days spent wholly with a favorite book"  ~Marcel Proust


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hey Lola! Music definitely inspires me. Sometimes it's a specific song, but more often it's a type of music. Fast paced metal and progressive rock put me into my writing.

Steven J. Wangsness said...

I'm basically a 60s-70s oldies guy, cuz I'm an old guy.

Wendy Ramer said...

Love it, especially the photo after your signature. Although I don't dress like my characters or eat their food while I'm writing, I've always considered myself of sort of "method writer" in that I live in my characters' heads even when I'm not writing. Makes me feel a bit multiple-personality sometimes.

Matthew MacNish said...

Hah! DMX. I don't miss that song, but I sure do miss the 90s!

Miss Cole said...

Music is an essential part of my writing routine :)

Christine Rains said...

I do the same thing with "method acting" as you do. I am in that world. I am those characters. I am also one of the very few writers that can't have any music playing or noise whatsoever when I'm writing. It's too distracting.

Morgan said...

Ohhhh... I love those moments when a song hits you so hard that you have to just stop... and feel. Muse is my band... I swear every song of theirs has been an inspiration for a scene at one point or another :D

Old Kitty said...

Lovely Lola!! I'm always looking for new songs to inspire my muse - so thank you for these samples of songs that inspire you! Yay!!

At the moment I'm so into Enya. I never enjoyed her before, now I find her music most hypnotic!

Good luck with your edits!! Take care

Meredith said...

I need to try method writing! That sounds amazing. Also, love your playlist! Damien Rice and Andrew Belle always make into my WiP playlists. :)

Abby Minard said...

I don't listen to music while writing, but usually I'll hear a song on the radio or something that reminds me of my current WIP. This time around its Set Fire to the Rain by Adele. Every time it comes on, I get images of my book, kinda like a movie trailer, and it gets me all pumped up to get home and write a little.

Weissdorn said...

I use music to write too. Unfortunately I always get this very nasty message from YouTube which reads something like this:
"Unfortunately, this video is not available in Germany, because IT MAY (not it does) contain music for which GEMA has not granted the respective music rights." You see ACTA is already in full force here.

I listen to Alphaville quite often.

Michelle Dennis Evans said...

I listen to a stack of nineties music to take my mind back to my YA days.

Anonymous said...

I love listening to music when I write. In my mind, my stories run as movies, and I always have to have a soundtrack. :)

Sarah said...

I'll listen to the same music on repeat over and over again while I'm writing. I think it gets me into a kind of "zen" state. Lately I've been addicted to the music from the movie Drive. That's some good stuff right there. :)

Eric W. Trant said...

I have a playlist called "writing" that changes from book to book. One piece had a lot of Godsmack and Korn. Another had Bush and Live and George Straight.

I wrote my last first draft in September almost entirely listening to one song: Pumped Up Kicks by Foster the People. My iPod says I've listened to the song over 500 times. It fit PERFECTLY with that book's theme, which is about a boy and a knife and his uncle's fake eye.

My current piece has Florence & the Machine, both her albums, which are GREAT! I don't need to skip any of her songs.

Anyway, yes, I use music to stay in the mood, and get back in when I start back up. It's a form of hypnosis, really.

- Eric

Jessica Love said...

Breathe Me is one of my very favorite songs. It never fails to inspire me.

Sophia Chang said...

I love Andrew Belle!

And that embroidery is HILARIOUS. I love that song too.

Linda G. said...

I can't listen to music while I write (I get too caught up in listening to focus on the words), but before I sit my butt in the chair the right song can definitely be an inspiration. I love your playlist!

firespark said...

You are a woman after my own heart. So glad I found you! I love what you're doing here.

I absolutely MUST listen to music when I write. For awhile I was on a Cold Play kick (specifically the title song from their album "A Rush of Blood to the Head" and several other songs off that album), which took me through the first parts of my current WIP. Now I'm sort of floating between Kings of Leon's new album (especially the songs "The End" and "Pyro" which are known to be played on repeat at times) and whatever I get from shuffling my Pandora stations. (Fever Ray, Modest Mouse, Vast, Amanda Palmer--those are some of my writing-worthy favorites)

Keep up the beautiful work. You've created such an amazing place here. I will be back.

Laura Marcella said...

I love the Proust quote! I have fond memories of reading away an entire day with a fantastic book. :)

Sometimes I listen to music while writing and sometimes not. When I do listen to music it's usually just whatever I'm in the mood for that day.

Jemi Fraser said...

My song choices always depend on my mood. I'm pretty eclectic and love music all across the spectrum. I've got the kids in my class hooked on Phantom of the Opera right now :) I love songs with harmony - like California Dreamin' the most (maybe...)

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

I listened to these earlier today but never got a chance to respond. These are all new to me except Sia's, which I loved already. What a great playlist. I downloaded 3 of these songs! Ha!

I love that you immerse yourself completely into the world of your books. What an amazing way to get in tune with your characters and setting. I wish I could see you in the middle of it all...

Sarah Ahiers said...

I listen to Sia Breathe Me all the frickin time! I LOVE that song!

Jocelyn Rish said...

I love Breathe Me - I listen to it all the time when I'm wandering the web. But I actually can't listen to music when I write. It ends up distracting me, especially if it's songs with words.

Saying Hello from the YA Campaign group.

Christi Goddard said...

Pretty much any Blue October song is my muse, but there are other songs I tend to listen to often. "What if" by Safetysuit, "Jesus Christ" by Brand New, "Running up that Hill" by Placebo to name a few.

Angeline said...

Wow, you really do immerse yourself, don't you?! I listen to a lot of film soundtracks when I write; Edward Scissorhands and Chronicles of Narnia are my current favourites.

Visiting from the campaign fantasy group.

Christine Tyler said...

I so completely relate to this...

And I get inspired by Hedningarna and Loreena McKennitt.

Also, I'm in your platform group! Love your blog.

Cortney Pearson said...

Stopping by from the campaign! I love that you surround yourself with things from your WIPs. I'm like you--I LOVE writing with music and it definitely inspires me. But it really depends on what mood I'm in or what mood I want the scene I'm writing to be in! My favorite artist right now (as it changes a lot) is Kate Havnevik. Good stuff.

Honey said...

Back in the day when I actually listened to something other than Disney songs, I loved Tom Petty and Free Falling. Thanks for sharing your favorites. I'm new to your blog and I loved this post! I'll be back!

Christa Desir said...

I love the DMX, yo. I want needlepoint pillows all over my house with funny sayings like that. Bc that would rule.

Jai Joshi said...

Music is such an asset when writing. I only listen to it when I'm revising but I like to listen to atmospheric stuff that takes me into the world of my characters. Love it!


Anonymous said...

I listen to music like that and I wonder "at what point did I become so unhip?" That said- I don't listen to music when I write anymore because it would distract me. My sentences would take on the same rhythm as the lyrics and I would never catch it until I was editing. It got a wee painful. Thank you for sharing your playlist, Lola!

Rebekah Loper said...

Hi Lola! I'm dropping in from the YA and Fantasy groups in the Campaign!

I loved reading this post, I know what you mean about giving yourself the setting. Sadly, I can't decorate and eat the foods, etc, of my characters, since I write fantasy that is definitely NOT in this world, so my character's stuff doesn't exist.

The music, though . . . ahh, yes! Lately, my inspirations have been Blackmore's Night and Within Temptation, with a song here or there from other artists (Requim by the Three Graces in particular) just plunge me into my stories.

Kittie Howard said...

Great post! I looove music and can't imagine it not in my life - except when I write *hangs head* I'm one of those who has to have complete silence.

Brenna Braaten said...

Hey there! New campaigner here finally making the rounds.

I love listening to music too. But, I haven't heard of most of these, so I'm going to enjoy getting to know them more! Thanks for sharing!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I hope you are enjoying your time lost in your "world." I've been doing the same thing. It depends what I'm writing if I listen to music.

Susan Fields said...

I can't have any noise going on when I write - even my daughter's singing will distract me. But certain songs do get me inspired to write and make me want to run for the laptop.

Theresa Small Sneed said...

Beautiful ~ well written! I love the quote from Marcel Proust and I am so "borrowing!" :)
I'm in your group - glad to "meet" you! ~Theresa Sneed author of No Angel and forthcoming From Heaven to Earth,

Carolyn V said...

Music is good for me too. I'm stuck on Muse. Love them!

Lola Sharp said...

Y'all are so lovely for stopping by and leaving such thoughtful comments. Thank you. <3

I totally understand how music (lyrics especially) could distract a person from writing...sometimes it does to me, too. Sometimes I do write in silence. But I ALWAYS listen just before I write. It's almost Pavlovian how music inspires me to write.

That can be tricksy if I'm driving and a song moves me to write. ;)


Carolina Valdez Miller said...

I have now worn a hole in my YET mp3. Just saying.

mo.stoneskin said...

No idea what music inspires me the most - almost all music does I think. If I just sit in a pub or cafe as long as there's music playing (theirs or mine) the words tend to flow. Having said that the words don't always match up with what I'm after writing!

Kelly Polark said...

I hadn't heard of most of these songs. Thanks for the music sampler! Of these, I like the first the best. Love the piano at the beginning. Almost haunting.
I also appreciate your plea to buy music responsibly. I cannot believe how many people think nothing of downloading songs illegally off the internet! It's stealing!

Matthew MacNish said...


moondustwriter said...

Lola - what a delightful post
Yes music is great in lending inspiration as it transcends space and time.
I get inspiration from art / either the art I percieve through my lens or that which has been skillfully crafted by the eyes and hands of another

best in your writing

Wendy Ewurum said...

I love music too and your choices rock. I never go wrong with Civil Wars. I love them

Shan Jeniah Burton said...

I dream my characters. As fully and deeply as I can. I take hot showers with them. They keep me company while I hometend, and when the kids and I go places.

They've been known, more than once, to interrupt moments in my marriage that they had no right to intrude upon, so they could share their own experiences.....

They are an unruly bunch.

Music - usually, for me it's television and family hubbub....children's laughter is hugely inspiring, and I like things to half-focus on.....

If I had to pick one artist, it would be, hands down, Paul Simon. I love his music and his writing. And there's a LOT of it!

I'm visiting you on the campaign trail, and am thrilled that yours is one of the very few Blogger blogs I can currently comment on!

May your pen be mighty

May your pen be mighty

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Lola Sharp
My name is Lola. (I'm not a showgirl) Yes, L-O-L-A Lola. It's the least of my worries. Let's move on, shall we? This blog is mostly about my misadventures on the journey to publication and beyond. My passion for lush prose, quirky characters, art, music, literature, performing arts and anything creative will be a major theme here. This journey of mine will not always be pretty. Much like rubbernecking a train wreck, I know sometimes you just can't help but look at the carnage that is often my life. So strap on your neck brace, helmet and 5-point harness and come along for the ride! Licentia poetica.
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