By now, you might have heard about my insanely elaborate 12.5-hour-long Spotify playlist for my novel (which has also undergone a name change and is now titled Woman of Words). I have not been able to listen to the whole thing all the way through–the closest I came was while stuck on an MBTA train for four hours, but that’s another story. I’m proud of this creation, but it’s also almost as complex as the novel itself.
So in today’s post, I’ll highlight a few key songs that were, and continue to be, particularly inspirational or conducive to my writing along the way, and maybe shed a little light onto exactly how. That way, you can still get a sense of how the playlist works and what it contains, without having to sit through thirteen hours of alternative, indie, and classic rock.
I wanted to only pick five songs, but then I couldn’t narrow it down, so please enjoy the bonus pick. And forgive me for not being able to embed; I wrote this on my phone (yes, a sad update: my laptop’s motherboard fried, and Lil Charcoal, as I fondly called him, is now in laptop heaven. You will be missed).
And before whoever is in charge of copyright comes after me, I never claimed to own any of these. If you want to listen, the links are in the titles.
Fun fact: a long, long time ago, one of the novel’s working titles was “The Echoes”. As in, “I couldn’t wash the echoes out”. Now that’s the title of a book my main character wrote, and she certainly can’t wash the echoes out. Nor the bells, nor the drumming noise inside her head that starts when a certain someone’s around. This song is so tense, I love it.
The song describes a lost girl running from her past, probably into drugs and other dark places. I can imagine how forlorn she is. Also, the line “there is no place like home” reminds me of The Wizard of Oz, and both Dorothy and my main character love their red shoes. It’s almost like we planned it. But that’s crazy, right?
My main character is an insomniac, and she definitely has a fire in her eyes and blood on her hands. I love this song’s relaxing vibe, and you get the sense that, despite the singer’s attempts to calm the person down, everything is not going to be okay. Or maybe that’s just me and my story butting in. Particularly, the line “dream of when you were innocent / dream forever” helped me solidify what I was going for in terms of theme.
*cracks knuckles and sighs* Where do I begin? A couple of my characters will get triggered if they ever hear this oldie again. And yes, I linked to the live version, because it’s better (those alternate lyrics, and that big old moon on the stage). Rhiannon is a magical, untethered woman who flies away from her problems. So is Renee, in my book. But, you see, neither of them are exactly what you would call real. There’s another freaky coincidence involving the book that inspired the song way back in 1973 (a whole 24 years before I was even born), but that might give away too much about my own story. I promise I’m not a time traveler (or is that what a time traveler would say?). Spooky.I even managed to reference it but without including any lyrics, so Stevie Nicks can’t sue me.
I first heard this song the morning after I wrote the chapter to which it corresponds, which freaked me out a little. My story features a character with eyes like “the endless night”, and at first I thought the lyrics were “there are moons on my skin” rather than “runes”, which freaked me out on a whole other level. If you’ve read a bit of the story, you probably have a clue as to why. 😒
I apologize for triggering any PATD fans, but this one’s beautiful, bittersweet to say the least, and even references the moon (what more could you want?). It did so much to set the mood during one of my book’s scenes on a beach that I think I wrote the lyrics in brackets in the first draft.