Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday Motivation - Inspiration

"Music is what feelings sound like." ~ Author unknown

 Authors are often asked where we get our ideas and inspiration. I've read many interviews where authors respond to this question with similar answers - from movies, books and music. I think sometimes people who aren't writers don't fully understand what we mean when we reply this way.

For me, it's not just the idea that I'm looking for, although it's that too. For example, what is a small element in one book may cause me to go - hey I could do a book about THAT, and take the topic to a whole new level. But more than that, I look for replicating the emotions a piece of music or a book or film might evoke in me.

Because the best stories make us feel something, and especially in my verse novels, I'm all about bringing emotions out of the reader.

With every book I write, it's about finding something that speaks to my heart in such a way that I want to speak to others' hearts in a similar way. This song --- or this book or movie -- made me feel a certain way, so now let me see if I can write a book that makes *you* feel that same way.

When I wrote THE DAY BEFORE, I wanted to write a book that captured the same feelings I had after I listened to Pink's song Glitter in the Air. Pink sings, "Have you ever wished for an endless night? Lassoed the moon and the stars and pulled that rope tight?" The way she sings it, you can feel the longing there, and that is what I wanted to bring to the page for my characters. For them to long for the day/night to never end, and for the reader to long for it as well.

This week, think about your favorite books. They made you feel *something*. What did they make you feel? And how can you make others feel *that* in your own writing? Even if you can't listen to music while you write, try listening to a song that brings out your emotions before you write, and then try to carry those emotions with you to the page.

For each of my YA novels, there is a song I listened to over and over again that helped me write. Is there a particular song that inspired any of your stories? I'm fascinated by how music, especially, plays a part in the author's writing process.

1 comment:

  1. I love this! And I think Pink should know her song inspired a book. ;)

    I always start with a feeling I want to convey before I even have characters. It's not a feeling I can name. Maybe it's more the mood I want to set?

    While writing May B., I had a song from the Legends of the Fall soundtrack in mind called the Ludlows. It's haunting, moving, lovely, and simple.