1. NateSean
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    NateSean Active Member

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    Your character's soundtrack

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by NateSean, Apr 1, 2011.

    Sometimes when I'm creating my characters, I try to work out a kind of soundtrack for them. It could be instrumental music, or it could be a popular song where the lyrics just make me think about this particular character and the struggles they go through.

    Does anyone else do this?
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    A lot of mine have theme tune:

    Angus : Someone Else's Dream (Michael Ball)
    Beatrice: Satellite (Lena)
    Nate: Hidden Away (Josh Groban)
    Joe Cream: The Gambler or These Boots Were Made for Walking
    Socrates: What About Us (John Barrowman) - You're Nothing Without Me (City of Angels)
    Tim Black: Paint it Black, Daydream Beliver, Bad Day (all Lee Mead)
    Iris: You Can't Stop the Beat (Hairspray)
    Gus: Ain't No Mountain High Enough (John Barrowman) and Ocean Deep (Cliff RicharD)
     
  3. FictionAddict
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    FictionAddict Senior Member

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    Every chapter of the book I'm currently working on has a music theme. Every character has a set of bands/singers they like the most. And I always make a playlist before starting to write to set the mood.

    The characters don't have a theme tune of their own, though. I'm considering which they might be, now that you mentioned it...
     
  4. Smoke
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    Smoke Contributing Member

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    I have a soundtrack for my current fanfiction, however it's more potential earworms for the invader from our world. I justify having such a variety because she has a good memory and had to ride in a car with her coworkers for much of her adult life.

    Many of the earworms I have chosen are either striking to the story where they could be misinterpreted as a warning, or else hitting too close to home for the other characters' comfort. Only a few are self-referential for my insert.
     
  5. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    Most Kingdom hearts and Final Fantasy XIII soundtracks. I wouldn't say they're for the characters, it's more of the scene I'm trying to create when I listen to them.
     
  6. Annûniel
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    Annûniel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I do this frequently. I'll hear a song and think how well that song's lyrics or general mood portrays my character's struggles, hardships, life, etc.

    Most of these songs are symphonic by some measure. Most of the lyrical songs are from Within Temptation. It's not done on purpose, but somehow that group makes songs that fit my characters.
     
  7. cybrxkhan
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    cybrxkhan Contributing Member

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    For me, no story of mine - including its characters, plots, themes, and so forth - can function properly without any music to go with it. Pretty much all of my major projects have been inspired by listening to some music. For me, the story is, in a way, 'embedded' in the soundtrack. The music helps me imagine the story as it unfolds in my head, or it just helps my imagination in generally.

    Generally I listen to instrumental music, or world / soundtrack stuff. I hate music with lyrics. Lyrics ruin my imaginative process.
     
  8. 霊Ray霊
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    霊Ray霊 Member

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    I can say the same. There are more though, at the moment Dir en Grey are taking a major role on inspiring me :)
     
  9. HBAdams
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    HBAdams Member

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    I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one that does this!

    With my current novel I keep the Chimera (by Delerium) album on repeat. In the past, Dave Matthews Band really helped me get inside my characters' world!
     
  10. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    I don't necessarily have particular songs picked out for particular characters, but sometimes I have fun listening to random stations on the radio and trying to visualize it as background music for different scenes in my book. I particularly like taking the same scene and watching it in my head over different genres, like classical, jazz, or rock. Definitely gets a different vibe, and can actually help me set the scene.
     
  11. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    "I gotta feeling" by Black Eyed Peas has somehow become my MCs soundtrack. It plays in the background when he kills a bunch of people in a night club :p
    (he's a vampire... the cool kind that's evil and don't sparkle)
     
  12. MidnightPhoenix
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    MidnightPhoenix Contributing Member

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    I have different song for different people or different scenes. Here are some:
    Close your eyes by Christophe Beck
    Fallen - Sarah Mclachlan
    Faster- Within Temptation
    Shot In The Dark- Within Temptation
    Something In Your Mouth - Nickelback
    That all I can think of right now, I will come back with a list.
     
  13. Louis Farizee
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    Louis Farizee Member

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    Imagining the character's internal soundtrack is a great help when I'm trying to hear what the character has to say. I often can't really get the character without it. Especially villains and unlikable characters.
     
  14. Midnight_Adventurer
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    Midnight_Adventurer Active Member

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    I don't have a soundtrack for my characters, but I do have a growing collection of instrumental music that I chose specifically for the story I'm writing and the situations within it. I find listening to the music extremely helpful for setting the scene so I can imagine what my characters are doing. Production music websites are great places to get music that’s tailored to specific moments that are dramatic, poignant, scary, epic, romantic etc. It works for me :)
     
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  15. FictionAddict
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    FictionAddict Senior Member

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    Wow! That changed my life! Everything I write will have another feel now. Call me ignorant, but I didn't know websites like that existed. Thank you for mentioning it.
     
  16. DarkMercury
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    DarkMercury New Member

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    I often work in the other direction. Rather than having a soundtrack as I write a character, I will be listening to music and think, "hey, that song is perfect to describe how Jacob feels about Kayla right now" or something similar. I have a playlist with all of those songs as I find them, and listen to them to combat episodes of writer's block.
     
  17. Gothic Vampire Queen
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    Gothic Vampire Queen Member

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    Is it weird if I have a playlist on my windows media player? lol
     
  18. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    I mentally do this rather than physically (and consciously) trying to make a list.

    It'll be a case of listening to a song and being reminded of the character.
     
  19. Jessica_312
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    Jessica_312 Contributing Member

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    Yes! I love this thread! I have a habit of thinking about songs that fit the scenes/mood of my story/characters
    I will say this: my current story has a definite "rock" edge to it, and my main character is a fan of classic rock and listens to Led Zeppelin to unwind :D
     
  20. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I do that too, both for scenes and for entire novels. The actual soundtrack for the story im (re)writing right now is "She will be loved" (maroon 5), because when listening to it the other day I found lot of the text fits the story. I also often use a certan song when imagining a scene/writing it, especially if it is intense, like a fight-/argue-/strong conflict-scene or one of suffering/heartache/loss of other kind. It helps me a lot, and sometimes it also works the other way arond, hearing a song and getting inspiration for a scene not yet planned. I find maroon 5 a good listen when writing this entire piece actually, it gives me such clear pictures of action in my head, (since this novel I guess would qualify as 'romance', lol) it's like watching the movie version of my novel when I hear the lyrics. Usually i'm more into rock than pop but for this one it seems to fit.
     
  21. DeNile
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    DeNile Senior Member

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    My current novel has a lot of Within Temptation sounds as a whole. 'Angel' fits the Volls, 'Our Solemn Hour', which is amazing by the way, fits the stage the war is at. At this point, you can't undo everything that has been done, the war has hit it's peak and everyone's falling apart.

    I do have songs that fit certain characters, but I can't think of any off the top of my head. Thessa currently fits 'Kiss The Girl' from the Little Mermaid, which I think is hilarious. 'Hot Mess' fits the mirrored situation Lucillia is going through.
     
  22. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    I don't lay out a series of songs that seem to be written about my characters. But sometimes, I do try to listen to music through their ears. If I'm listening to the radio and a Marilyn Manson song comes on, I know that if she were real, Taylor would drop whatever she was doing just to join me. If the next song is by Karnivool, Taylor would get back to business and Soren would take her place.

    I know all of my major characters' favorite musicians. Doesn't serve any practical purpose, but I didn't wake up one morning and just decide that I was going to come up with a top ten bands list for my fictional children. Their tastes in music developed over time as they did.
     
  23. Kio
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    Kio Contributing Member

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    I listen to all types of music from all over Asia and the Americas for the sake of my novel and the characters starring in the story. I also listen to rock (50s-90s), pop, jazz, oldies, sometimes hip-hop, very rarely rap if it's really REALLY good. Actually, I listen to everything except country. Even then, I think I may have an exception.
     

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