Whenever I hear anything off the Violent Femmes debut album, I'm sixteen again, just for a little bit. "Blister in the Sun" in particular brings me back to summer days spent with my friends, screaming lyrics out in a buddy's garage.
Tori Amos's album, "Little Earthquakes", isn't actually about multiple generations of a psychic Franco-American family struggling with their powers while the world teeters on the brink of catastrophic war, but you wouldn't know that by me. The CD was on such heavy rotation while I read Julian May's Intervention (out of print again, but worth getting used) that hearing one of the songs brings certain scenes or characters right into my mind.
My Work in Progress has been years in the making. I'd been working on a story that was important to me, but wasn't going anywhere. I had the main character and the idea, but idea does not equal plot. Then things came together, like they sometimes will in writing. I'd started fleshing out secondary and lesser characters in hopes of creating story from conflicting motivations. One of them insisted (in that way that is not schizophrenia) that he deserved attention. Low and behold, I'd already started telling his story in bits and pieces, I just hadn't known it belonged to him. When his theme song popped into my head, I knew that I knew this guy.
As important as knowing him, was being able to find him again.
Sometimes I suffered from writer's block. OK, I felt blocked a lot. Other times, I succumbed to the imaginary pressure from being surrounded by romance and paranormal romance writers. Was there a place in urban fantasy for my non-female driven work? Quinn got put on the back burner as I explored stories that didn't mean much to me but might mean something to one of the many editors seeking the next kick-ass heroine. I'd lose the feel of him. A play through (or five) of his song, though, and I was back in his head space.
Considering all that, plus that I've discussed the use of music while writing in various forums, I have no idea why it took a post over at Something Wicked to get me to expand Quinn's theme song into a full soundtrack. I have yet to write with the playlist, but it's already helped to block out the dozens of distractions that tend to suck me right out of my story and send me down various rabbit holes.