What's Your Character's Soundtrack and What Does It Say About Them?

I'm sure you've heard of having a "writing soundtrack", the go-to playlist that gets you in the writing mood. It's an important piece for many writers, and there's even some evidence in recent studies that music played while doing something creative can make you even more creative. I know some writers who create a new playlist when they start writing a new book, with the selected songs being reflective of the new piece. But, what about your characters likes and dislikes?

Next track, please...

My characters influence my playlists more than the book I'm writing itself. In fact, I have three separate playlists for Aeryn and Theo, Thystle, and Shaun.

Which bands fit each of these characters best?

  • Aeryn and Theo: Chevelle, Cold, and Dave Matthews
  • Thystle: Tool, A Perfect Circle (she loves Maynard James Keenan), Staind, Five Finger Death Punch, Metallica, and Eve
  • Shaun: Breaking Benjamin, Shinedown, Smashing Pumpkins, and Lorde

One of these things is not like the others

Of all of them, clearly, Thystle has the most diverse music tastes. This is totally in keeping with her character, as few characters are as complex or contradictory as Thystle. She's a little bit metal, a little moody at times, but she also loves a bass line she can just chill and groove to.

Aeryn is more even-tempered, and she likes what she likes. She usually wants something fast, but not too fast, and sometimes a little something quieter she can just contemplate life with. She's not one to look too far outside of the box if she doesn't have to. Theo rounds Aeryn's tastes out with a little metal all her own.

Shaun's choices are the moodiest and most dramatic of them all, which is again in total keeping with her character. You'll be hearing me talk about her more and more, since she's part of a book I'm still in the middle of revising. Believe me when I say that she's dealing with a lot, which she doesn't have the capacity to handle just yet. That's reflected in her music choices. But, at the same time, she can really get down to Smashing Pumpkin's "Zero" and Lorde's hard-hitting baselines in "Team" and "Royals", especially when she's delivering a beat down to some villainous sorts.

Houston we have a problem

Fortunately, my music tastes and my characters' run parallel. I'll let you know if a character ever asks me if I have any organ music or country. I think we might have to fight if that happens.

A.M.

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