Saturday, 9 February 2013

Stories from Song - Music's Influence on Writing

Writers, do you find music inspires your work? I am often inspired by musicians - not only for their originality and drive, but especially by their lyrics. Many songwriters are amazing storytellers - Bruce Springsteen, Death Cab for Cutie, Sheryl Crow, Sufjan Stevens ... I could go on and on.

In fact, the 'inciting incident' of Sharonville, where a central character crashes her truck, was influenced by an Aimee Mann song called 'It's Not' where she sings about waiting at a stop light and feeling unable to move forward. My character feels the same way and then, when her pick up is destroyed, falls into a coma where she believes she's in space ... Oh, and, yes, and she lives a life which 'from behind the screen ... can look so perfect/ But it's not' ...

In this case, Aimee's words captured beautifully the character's emotions and helped me shape this important scene, so I'd love to hear about times when music has inspired other writers.

Now over to wonderful Aimee ...

It's Not

I keep going round and round on the same old circuit
A wire travels underground to a vacant lot
Where something I can't see interrupts the current
And shrinks the picture down to a tiny dot
And from behind the screen it can look so perfect
But it's not

So here I'm sitting in my car at the same old stop light
I keep waiting for a change but I don't know what
So red turns into green turning into yellow
But I'm just frozen here on the same old spot
And all I have to do is to press the pedal
But I'm not

People are tricky you can't afford to show
Anything risky anything they don't know
The moment you try - well kiss it goodbye

So baby kiss me like a drug, like a respirator
And let me fall into the dream of the astronaut
Where I get lost in space that goes on forever
And you make all the rest just an afterthought
And I believe it's you who could make it better
Though it's not
No, it's not...
No, it's not...

 Listen to it here!

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