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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Musical Inspiration

Writers being inspired by music is nothing new.  I have music playing more often than not when I'm writing.  It's a useful tool for setting the mood.  So for today's post, I'd like to share with you a few of the songs that inspired me while I was writing SHARDS OF GLASS.  Music is to me what scents are to others.  In other words, my memories aren't really associated with any scents.  However, there are plenty of songs that take me back to a certain time or place.  You'll see what I mean while reviewing some of the songs on this list.

So here we go:

1. Down the Road, by Kenny Chesney 
This is the song that inspired me the most.  The boy and girl living on the same street forming an immediate relationship.  This is Emily and Nicky.

2. Hit 'Em High, by B Real, Busta Rhymes, Coolio, LL Cool J, and Method Man
Every time I hear this song, I'm taken back to high school basketball games.  This song was used by our team to warm up before games, so every time I hear it I find myself sitting in the high school gym, waiting for a game to start.  I used this song for what is now the opening scene of SHARDS OF GLASS.  The first draft had the song itself, but I have since edited it out.  It still plays in my head, though.

3. I'm Still Holding On, by Clint Black & Martina McBride
This is the song that inspired me to write the important prom scene where Emily and Nicky have their first kiss.  During the scene, which takes place during Nicky's senior year, Emily is aware of her time with Nicky running out since he'll be leaving for college. 

4. Here Comes Goodbye, by Rascal Flatts
The first draft originally had three parts.  In part three, Emily began dating a guy named Jason.  This particular song helped me write their break up scene.  All of part three has since been removed from the story along with part one.  Jason may get his own story some day, though.  I really enjoyed his character.

5. It Matters to Me, by Faith Hill; Wrong Again, by Martina McBride; You Were Mine, by Dixie Chicks; Have You Ever, by Brandy
These songs get lumped together because they were used for the same thing.  All of these songs were ones that I listened to in high school while crushing on particular boys.  I used these songs to put me back in that "high school girl giddy excitement over a boy" mentality.  They're not exactly happy songs, though.  Not sure what that says about my high school years. :)

I could list more, but these are the main ones.  If you have any particular songs that you used for your inspiration, feel free to share them in the comments. 

I'll end with part of Down the Road, which if one of my characters were singing, it would be Nicky singing about Emily. 

"When I was a boy

Four houses down from me, was a family with an only child
She was the only girl, in this whole world who could make me smile
Down the road"


  1. I'm the same as you - certain songs can totally bring me back to a particular time & place. :)

  2. ...fingers drumming the keyboard, one's thoughts set ablaze with inspiration, and Kenny in the background, humming along from his favorite spot on the Gulf Coast.

    Oh yeah, I write to his music as well ;)


  3. music inspires me too! nice to see your thought process linking the songs to your story!

  4. Music inspires me, definitely--but it's mainly classical and lyricless music. I have a hard time listening to other peoples' stories as I try to write my own, so I tend to listen to bands like 2Cellos, the Piano Guys, Vitamin String Quartet and other bands where the lyrics don't distract me :)

  5. Hit em high always gives Space Jam flashbacks. ^_^
    I agree sometimes music totally sets the mood. I've put songs on repeat while I hacked a scene out.

  6. Gotta love music - nothing like a good beat and fabulous lyrics to brighten one's day. Stopping in celebrate with you:)


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!