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Monday Mixtape: Novelin' Music


Music is an integral part of my writing process. For me, it's very much the first stages of character development. I'll hear a song and go, "Oh, this song is totally so-and-so," or "That song is perfect for the scene where this thing happens." I'm even known to do this for my writing lobster's novels.

While plotting, I always compile a playlist of songs that strike something in me about the story. Usually, the playlist gets absurdly long--we're talking 75-100 songs sometimes.

As the story comes more into focus, as I get to know the characters better, the playlist shrinks. I listen to these playlists on loop while I write, and for months and months after I finish a draft, every time I hear a song that had been on a playlist, I go right back to that story.

I'm currently almost done with the third book in my first series, and its playlist sits at about twenty songs. Each one represents something about the story, or a piece of a character, and they immediately put me into the story.

I decided to share a few of these songs with you guys today.

First up, "Till the Casket Drops" by ZZ Ward:


"Show Me Your Fangs" by Matt Nathanson:


"I Really Like You" by Carly Rae Jepsen:


So, there ya have it. The soundtrack of random that is on repeat in my head right now!

What about ya'll? Do you use music playlists as you write? What kind of music do you listen to? Any recommendations? I'm always on the lookout for new music!

The Movie Bloghop

What's this? Two blog posts in one week? I must be ill, right?

Nah. I just stumbled across this very cool bloghop this morning and, even though it is happening RIGHT NOW, I couldn't resist. It's just too fun.

The Movie Bloghop, hosted by Kyra Lennon at Write Here, Write Now and Rachel Schieffelbein at Writing on the Wall, is just what it sounds like. You write a post about who you'd cast in the movie version of your current Work-in-Progress. Awesome, right?

My current WIP is about Tierney, a late-20-something woman who finds out her ex-fiance is marrying someone else. Well, what's a girl to do but get him back, right? Only she didn't count on the sexy best man standing in her way.

The lead role of Tierney is played to perfection by the lovely Katharine McPhee:

Jack, the too-sexy and all-knowing best man, is Ian Somerhalder AKA OMG THE HOTTEST GUY EVER!:



Wes, Tierney's ex-fiance and all-around good (though slightly boring) guy, is James Van Der Beek:

Wes's fiancee, Sam, the bubbly, perfect blonde, is Kellie Pickler:

There you have it. The cast of beautiful people that are playing out this story in my head -- er, on the big screen.

As for the music, this is a vital part of my process. I will listen to the same song on repeat until I finish writing a particular scene. I've got a huge playlist, but I'll narrow it down to a couple, just for you.

Run - Matt Nathanson, Jennifer Nettles


I Hate You, Don't Leave Me - Demi Lovato


Had It All - Katharine McPhee


Come Clean - Tristan Prettyman


Make sure you check out the other posts in this bloghop. How can you resist? It's such a fun idea!

So, who would you cast in a movie version of YOUR WIP?


Muse Food

I've been making steady progress on the revisions for my Work-in-Progress, and I'm excited. I feel like the new Chapter 1 is the strongest version yet and that I'm definitely getting somewhere.

My muse has been fueled by a playlist of songs I compiled that remind me of my characters and the story they're telling. Here are a couple of the juiciest cuts that get me inspired:

Gavin DeGraw - Run Every Time

I love the overall feeling of this song. Of having something great right in front of you, but being too afraid to grab it with both hands. It captures my main character's inner conflict perfectly.

LeAnn Rimes - What Have I Done

This song is soaked in regret and heartbreak and it just gets to me. I love the line, "Gonna smash every mirror in this empty house, because like you I don't want to see myself." Gah!

Jessica Harp - Over Me

My favorite lines: "She's your growing up, I'm your staying young" While some of these lyrics could be considered wishful thinking on the part of my main character, those two lines describe what's going on so simply: her ex is growing up, moving on. And it hurts.

Matt Nathanson - Kept

I hear this song at the point in my story when my main character does something she shouldn't have done. I love the line "The morning came and it felt like truth."

The last one I'm gonna share with you hit me like a brick the first time I heard it. I love Michelle Branch and I wish we heard more from her. Her new music is fantastic, and this song has inspired many hours of furious typing away on my laptop.

Michelle Branch - Summertime

I love the nostalgic feeling of this. The bittersweet taste of looking back and remembering someone. The parts that spoke to me the most were, "I heard she's wearing a shiny diamond ring, I guess you're finally moving on," and "Kissing underneath the moonlight, discovering things we never thought we'd find." This song is so, so good!

So there you have it. A peek at the playlist revolving inside my head. There are dozens more songs. Maybe I'll share more with you later! Now, back to work!

Do you make playlists for your Works-in-Progress? Or do you write in silence? Maybe instrumental instead of songs with lyrics? What feeds YOUR Muse?