Do you ever hear a song that makes you soar above the clouds? For me, a particularly inspiring song usually gets my writer brain going. I can’t listen to music while I write, but I can’t create a story without music. This is how it usually goes:
I got a story idea for my WIP (work in progress) that I loved. But then I got stuck. Who are these characters? What do they want?
While painting a refurbed dresser for my sister I heard NEEDTOBREATHE’s “Clear.” That quickly became my main characters’ love song. I listened to it about thirty-seven times in a row while painting and getting to know Jonathan and Amy.
I was on Highway Fiction, driving straight into the sunset at seventy miles an hour, when I got stuck again. I’ve got the backstory, but how does Amy feel right now?
Sitting in my favorite writer’s chair (aka, the driver’s seat of my minivan with the kids strapped down where they can’t spill or break anything) I heard “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again” by Danny Gokey. Yes! The lyrics beautifully describe what my heroine is going through. I started writing dialogue in my head as I drove.
The storyline cruised along for a bit, but it felt weighted, even a little depressing. Not exactly what we’re looking for in a romance, huh? I tapped into an old favorite, “They Say It’s Love” by Cindy Morgan. That was the perfect background music for Jonathan and Amy’s high school romance. I set it on replay while dreaming up the best time they spent together as teens.
But that’s still backstory, and I still had trouble getting any current day sparks out of them. While dancing with my two-year-old daughter, streamers in hand, we listened to the instrumental version of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.” Wah-lah! A scene flashed into my mind. The music is playful and fun and inspired an attraction that will make my characters fall back in love.
Now with my underscore arsenal, I’ve got backstory, depth, romance, fun, and a bunch of great music to enjoy.
What are you listening to right now?
Beth Olsson, in a pen cap, is all about Jesus, her Viking, and their two adorable babies. If you know what it means when she says her childhood heroes were Laura Ingalls Wilder, Anne of Green Gables, and Jo March, then you get it! All kidding aside, they’re still her heroes. Beth started creating stories as early as she can remember, staying awake well after bedtime dreaming up daring characters and precarious situations. As a writer of contemporary romance, with a dash of suspense, she believes the best stories weave the raw beauty of real life with unbelievable adventures.
A proud resident of Kansas City, Missouri, Beth enjoys world travel, genealogy, and sitting around the dinner table for hours, talking about both. The best souvenir she ever brought home was a husband from Sweden. Like any good writer, she has a love affair with chocolate and coffee, but it’s a lifeblood connection with Jesus Christ that keeps the words flowing and heart beating. At the tender age of fourteen, on a tile floor in Costa Rica, she surrendered all to the one she calls Lord. Through life’s twists and turns she’s thankful for this steadfast foundation every day!