RTW: Music and the WIP

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

This Week’s Topic: If your WIPs were a song, which song would they be?

I hope I’m not alone in the enormous amounts of time I spend searching for, downloading, and listening to the ideal songs for my works in progress. There’s something about the perfect playlist that sets the stage and gets me in the mood to write. Each of my WIPs have a playlist, and on those playlists there’s a song or two that speaks so perfectly to what I’m writing that it almost becomes a theme of sorts.

Take Cross My Heart (formerly Loving Max Holden), currently in re-writes. There’s lots of country on the playlist because Love Interest Max is totally into classic country (as am I :)), but there’s one song in particular that sets the mood for the story: Taylor Swift’s Mary’s Song (Oh My My My). It’s all about growing up and falling in love with your next door neighbor. My favorite lyrics: Take me back to the creek beds we turned up / Two A.M. riding in your truck and all I need is you next to me / Take me back to the time we had our very first fight/ The slamming of doors instead of kissing goodnight / You stayed outside till the morning light…

The manuscript I’m currently querying, Where Poppies Bloom, has a sort of dark and depressing playlist, which is appropriate to the mood of the story. The song that rings truest–the song that makes me think of Poppies every single time I hear it–is The Band Perry’s If I Die Young. My favorite lyrics: A penny for my thoughts, oh no, I’ll sell them for a dollar / They’re worth so much more after I’m a goner / And maybe then you’ll hear the words I been singin’ / Funny when your dead how people start listenin’…

My latest and greatest, Bus WIP!!! and I are still getting to know each other, but I’m just about 7K in and I’m starting to get into a groove. Bus WIP!!! has a playlist full of songs about coming into your own, growing up, and discovering who you are. Like the songs on my Poppies playlist, they tend to be on the slightly depressing side (Jeez… what’s with me and my penchant for painful music?), but there’s a glimmer of hope in most of them too. The song I’m currently loving most on this playlist  is Anna Nalick’s Breathe (2AM).  My favorite lyrics: “Just a day,” he said down to the flask in his fist / “Ain’t been sober, since maybe October of last year.” / Here in town you can tell he’s been down for a while / But, my God, it’s so beautiful when the boy smiles / Wanna hold him… Maybe I’ll just sing about it…

So, if your WIP was a song, which one would it be?


13 thoughts on “RTW: Music and the WIP

  1. Rebecca B says:

    I think I spend 1/5 of my writing time making playlists. 🙂 You’re not alone with the painful music. I tend to either write to really fast, energetic happy stuff or mournful. Fast songs to get me going; melancholy to get emotions flowing.

  2. Tracey Neithercott says:

    I secretly really like Taylor Swift. I don’t write to a playlist, but I do come up with a few songs during the first draft stage. When my revision/re-write is done, I’ll probably go back and make an actual playlist. I can’t listen to words while writing so I go with movie soundtrack early on.

    • katyupperman says:

      I don’t write to music either; I like to have total quiet. But, I do listen to my playlists pretty much any time I’m not writing and I’ve found that the songs really permeate. And I like Taylor Swift too, and it’s no secret. 🙂

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