1. Kata_Misashi
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    Kata_Misashi Active Member

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    A ficition story based around music. Is it possible?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Kata_Misashi, Dec 16, 2015.

    I'm a lover of fiction, fantasy, action-y, yadda-yadda; anyway... I had the idea for a story where music is basically the make-up of a society of people. But after I got the idea doubts started to fill my head. Can you even writing something like that if you can't actually hear it? Can you writing how a song 'sounds'; lyrics and all, and still keep it entertaining for a story based on it?
     
  2. xanadu
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    xanadu Contributing Member Contributor

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    My second novel is about two young women who want to play at next year's annual music festival. The vast majority of the story is about them practicing and making a name for themselves around town. I have a ton of scenes where they're actually playing the music. Unfortunately, I don't have the story in front of me right now to give examples.

    But what I do is this: I have my central character, whose POV we're in for the entirety of the story. And I really just express what she's expressing as she's playing the music. How it makes her feel, how hard she's concentrating, the nervousness of performance, the self-doubt at messing up and hoping no one notices, the exhilaration at the applause. I don't care to describe the music just as I don't care to describe the clothes she's wearing or any other detail like that. I care about describing her reactions to them.

    Now, that may or may not help you. A story about someone playing music is vastly different to a story set in a world made from music (which is a very intriguing concept).

    I will say, however, that if you're looking for ways to describe music in text, try reading concert reviews, album reviews, and things like that. Music criticism. Not necessarily for the writing style (as it's different from prose), but for the words they use and the descriptions they think up.
     
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  3. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    @jannert 's book has great chunks of narrative describing music and I'd say music is pretty central to her story. Maybe she would have something to add :)
     
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  4. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I had fun writing music in to my story. I guess I did it by listening to the music a lot, being very familiar with it as a piece of music, to the point of being able to hear it in my own head, and then writing either how it sounded to the people hearing it or how it felt to the person playing it.

    Music itself stirs emotions, peaceful, sorrowing or happy ones. A listener can be captivated, or irritated by music. The expertise of the musician can impress the listener as well. And of course the opposite: if the musician is fairly unskilled, this will stir a reaction as well. The significance of the piece of music can also be important. If a particular song or tune means a lot to the person hearing or playing it, make sure the readers know this. And why, if possible. If it use to be your father's favourite song, you will 'hear' it differently from somebody who is just hearing it for the first time, or if it's just another song on the jukebox. (If you're from that era! :)) See how much of this personal involvement you can include.
     
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  5. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    The Hawai`ian language is a musical language in general, along with the dance. Maybe you can study that a bit to pick up some ideas. It also is good to note that people have used singing as a way to tell stories since the beginning of spoken language or thereabouts. Singing a story makes it easy to remember the details, to keep it straight, etc. Then there are the epic poems, which may not be musical but certainly have a similar feel in some fashion.
     

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