Books from songs


There was another song I used years ago when I was writing Dragon. AC/DC's Thunderstruck. It didn't inspire the story, but it's the whole damn emotion behind the book. I had that song on continuous repeat inside my head while I was writing it. Like an anthem.

Cheers, Greg.

I think there's a definite difference between songs that inspire you, that make you go "hmm", and songs that sort of become anthems and just have the right sort of vibe for what you're doing. My current main WiP has no songs inspiring it at all, but there's a definite body of music that helps me get in touch with the vibe I'm going for - Primordial, Darkest Era, Thyrfing, Moonsorrow. Anthem is a great word for it.

I do like the idea of a story that has Thunderstruck as its anthem!
The only ones that have given me thoughts about doing that were Children of the Sun by Billy Thorpe and Dvorak’s New World Symphony, the finale.
I think there's a definite difference between songs that inspire you, that make you go "hmm", and songs that sort of become anthems and just have the right sort of vibe for what you're doing.

I've had both happen. I wrote a sci fi short story inspired by Suzanne Vega's Blood Makes Noise for an anthology. And then re anthems, because I'm secretly a 12-year-old, I once wrote an entire middle grade novel listening to Fall Out Boy's Immortals on repeat. I'm classy that way.

But I don't usually write to music, these were exceptions. What I do get sometimes is a feel for a character in a song, and that can be useful. especially in the early stages of a draft.
I like doing so to the extent that for my alpha/beta readers, I'll add -fitting- musical tracks at the end of chapters, and even sound effects throughout to help make reading an enhanced experience. On my latest stuff, though the sound clips would be great for digital readers, I even looked into what it would take to add a music soundtrack for an expanded version of the novel. Unfortunately, I fear that stretches my capabilities (chasing down copyrights), more than I'm willing to bear.

Just as a follow-up to that point, besides air raid siren tracks I use throughout (soundcloud), here are the music tracks I'm using for beta-readers thus far. I went a little old school on most in this one since in G9 I use more punk era stuff... anywho (copyright info removed for here):

A6. Music & Sound Credits
War Pigs by Black Sabbath – Intro
That Smell by Lynard Skynyrd
Rain on the Scarecrow by John Mellencamp
Bullet the Blue Sky by U2
Only Happy when it Rains by Garbage
When the Levee Breaks by Led Zeppelin
For Pete’s Sake by The Monkees – Pogue’s Theme
Disparate Youth by Santigold – The White Tiger Theme
Running up that Hill by Kate Bush
Everybody Wants Some by Van Halen
Breathe by Télépopmusik – Kae’s Song
Bad Reputation by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts – Ode to Mop Boy
Killing Strangers by Marilyn Manson
Streets of Philadelphia by Bruce Springsteen – Outro
Disparate Youth by Santigold – The White Tiger Theme - Post-Outro

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To expand on this--since in review it seems I have a lot of work inspired by or written specifically around a particular piece of music--though I have particular stories like 'Junk Witch,' written specifically for the Ministry song 'Filth Pig'--most use songs like I outlined above, work like theme/mood music in a movie. Many parts of scenes--even entire chapters--are written with a particular piece of music in mind, and are often inspired (as in the scene created), due to a particular song.

In the above list as an example, Everybody Wants Some, is key to the protagonists dramatic mood shift from deep hurt to wrath as she walks into a crowd; joyous and falling in love one second, betrayed, and then intent on 'harvesting' everyone up a street. The song--in my mind--fits so well it dictates her actions, thoughts, and expressions. On the verge of sobbing, as she moves up the packed street the first person bumps into her, the song starts, and the shift happens, her rage grows with each horrific atrocity she sees, then peaks...and a malevolent smirk forms ready to kill these well deserving slavers, criminals, and cannibals.

In what will be the final novel in the series, toward the end there is a massive battle. The new protagonist, halfway across the abandoned continent, has learned he has a daughter. Halfway back he discovers the city is about to be attacked and races the rest of the way. Dropping off his companions on the north edge of Philadelphia, he races down Broad Street to save his daughter and her Mother. Unused to complex controls in vehicles (of today), driving a red Dodge Powerwagon set up for a fire department, he gets the warning lights on (all streets are packed with people), but can't figure out the siren in his rush, and kicks on the stereo full blast over the PA by accident.

Start of the song... The Mother, Pogue, and his daughter Polaris are running from advancing troops northward in South Philadelphia, up broad street, as South Philly burns by her hand. The troops are close behind and suddenly she hears something making her stop. Jeb reaches City hall driving through it, and Pogue hears the echoed 'love, loOoOoOve,' emanating from the building. Just as the bass downbeat plays, Jeb bursts from the building at high speed.

He passes them, they exchange glances. He looks ahead, sees the soldiers and floors it. Plowing through half of them, he whips around and takes out most of the rest crashing. Having never killed anyone before this--he gets out enraged and fights through the rest hand to hand as Pogue and Polaris look on... Once done, he stands in profile ready to continue, then walks to P&P and carries them northward back to the main battle.

There's a lot more to it, Pogue and Jeb falling in love that moment, you can imagine how the child would feel meeting her father for the first time, Jeb rescuing Pogue like his brother John Wisdom did many years ago with the first novel's protagonist Rokka-Kae... blah blah blah...

Anywho, that whole scene was devised with that one song in mind. When I thought of the song, from Jebs learning of his daughter through to saving them--what will likely cover a couple chapters worth--was imagined just to envision that final expression in both and Jeb finally realizing that what Rokka-Kae taught him--a novel before--has value when put into context.

So yeah, I guess some/much of my work is inspired by music.

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