1. Gothic Vampire Queen
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    Gothic Vampire Queen Member

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    What are your views on the use of a Music Playlist in a book?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Gothic Vampire Queen, Jun 3, 2011.

    The title speaks for itself.

    I am very curious on your opinion(s).

    I once picked up a book at a bookstore and it happened to be the Morganville vampire series. The cover caught my attention.

    [​IMG]

    And as I was browsing on the author info in the back of the book, I stumbled upon a page where she posted her music playlist.

    Now, what are your thoughts on this?

    Feast! :)
     
  2. Declan
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    Declan Senior Member

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    Does she mean the playlist that helped her write the book, or a kind of recommended list of songs to listen to whilst reading the book?
    That's a quite interesting idea, I've never heard of anything like it, but it would make me worry that the author's writing is lacking and needs music to help it.
    On a similar note, in my stories I like to say what exact track is being played (a technique I have shamelessly stolen from Bret Easton-Ellis) in that scene.
     
  3. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I never saw that done before, and like Declan, I'm not sure what the reason would be. Nick Hornby mentioned specific songs all through High Fidelity, but it fit with the plot.
     
  4. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why be that old-fashioned? Insert grooveshark links into the prose, so the reader gets the soundtrack in real-time... That, or write in a way that can support itself for emotion.
     
  5. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I have mixed feelings about it. Music is great, and I listen to it all the time (I have problems falling asleep at night so I'll lay there with my headphones for like 2 hours, plus it helps me get up in the morning, plus helps me work faster), but there's drawbacks with listening to music while you're reading or writing fiction. In my opinion, it's possible for a song to be actually too fitting to the point of being corny. Like, if I'm listening to a song like "Live to Win" by Paul Stanley or "Frontline" by Pillar -- which are AWESOME songs and I love them both to death - while reading some epic battle sequence in lotr, even though both the song and the scene are great, together they don't work. It'll feel kind of cartoonish, or like it's one of those movies where all the heroism is way overplayed to the point where it feels cheesy over the top. And even if it does make the reading experience better for someone, what if the song ends, and switches to a song that completely shatters the mood?

    This is just me. I'm sure many will have a differing opinion. :) Also, I can listen to music just fine when I'm doing work-related writing, just not fiction.
     
  6. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    I like having playlists with certain books because certain songs fit so well and really make me think about the book. It doesn't work for every book, though.
     
  7. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it's fair to say music moves us differently than words. Most, I guess, would say that it can move us more profoundly.

    We might think that difference arises - partly - because of the need for the involvement of the rational mind in the comprehension of words.

    Some writing, perhaps, comes reasonably close to moving us as music can. Likely, it will be readily understandable, lyrical and saying something important. A number of holy books - on occasion - meet those criteria; some literature does too.

    But, to perfectly combine a piece of music with one of those simple, lyrical, important passages might be a recipe for an unendurable explosion of emotions! (Though I do recognise the strength of Mallory's reservations).
     
  8. Laura Mae.
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    Laura Mae. Member

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    Music is very emotive and I personally use it to help me focus on a particular scene, or to set the tone. I've got acoustic love songs for the mushy scenes and rap, d&b and hip hop for the action scenes, as they correspond to the general tempo of a scene. I think it would be cool to a. see what kind of music author's use to help them when they write, either for inspiration or to focus/relax their mind or b. use of lyrics in prose. I think lyrics in prose would be good but only in moderation. Surely there would be a hell of a lot of copyright issues if writers inserted actual lyrics into their stories?
     
  9. Jonp
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    Jonp Senior Member

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    So does it tell you what tracks to play when, or just a bunch of tracks to give the general mood of the book? It's an interesting idea.

    The closest thing I'm familiar with (although I have yet to read it) is the book House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski, and the album "Haunted" by Poe (his sister), which were released as companion pieces for each other.
     
  10. tonten
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    tonten Senior Member

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    Stephanie Meyers posted a playlist of what she listened to when she wrote the twilight series on her website.
     
  11. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    There would, indeed. Can't do it without permission.
     
  12. Unsavory
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    Unsavory Active Member

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    I honestly don't see the point of including a musical playlist in a book, even if there is some abstract relationship between the writer's work and the music they think fits as a soundtrack. It's kind of like including a list of favorite foods and favorite movies in the back. It's a novel, not a facebook profile.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sounds really silly to me...

    besides, it wouldn't be part of the ms, so would have to be cleared with the publisher, after/if you get one and i'm pretty sure most of them would agree with me that it's not worth wasting page space and paper/ink on...
     
  14. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sounds more like it's just the author telling her fans her favorite playlist or the playlist which inspired parts of the book or the book itself. I doubt she meant it as a soundtrack of sorts and more of a 'heres the music I like'

    Would be weird to have a songtrack for the novel though.
     
  15. Gothic Vampire Queen
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    Gothic Vampire Queen Member

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    I am going to share something a bit personal. Not, personal, personal, but personal.

    I once considered adding the music that inspired me when writing into my book. I was barely starting chapter one when I considered this.

    Now, that I am on chapter ten, I don't like the idea of adding a whole playlist of songs that I listened to, when I was writing.

    Like Unsavory said, it's a novel for god's sake, not a facebook profile.

    :)
     
  16. wallomrslug
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    wallomrslug Member

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    Music is a very personal thing. I honestly can't see the use in an author posting a playlist of music to listen to while reading as music affects readers in many different ways and a piece the author may class as emotive, the reader may class as mundane.

    I would find it interesting for the author, just on the basis of trivia, to comment on what they listened to while they wrote, however.
     
  17. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Gimmick
     
  18. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've seen several YA authors do this lately, and find it rather silly. Sure, I do have a soundtrack for many of the scenes I've written, but it feels silly to actually put it in a book and go "I want you to listen to this song when that happens".
     
  19. heyitsmary
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    heyitsmary Member

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    I have mixed feelings. I don't really see the point of doing it, other than for fun, and I never pay attention when writers post theirs online. But they are fun to make.
     
  20. Gothic Vampire Queen
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    Gothic Vampire Queen Member

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    Personally, I think music while writing is something.....personal. You know? Something just for you and not for your readers to know.

    Otherwise, it would turn out to be like a twilight soundtrack *growls*
     
  21. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Music moves us differently, also as individuals. What one author might hear as the perfect soundtrack to support the feel of a scene, may be pure noise to the ears of their reader.
     

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