Last week, I talked about music that I listen to during the drafting process. Usually, when I’m drafting, I listen to instrumental music. Lyrics just confuse the issue.
Writers use a whole bag full of tricks to wrestle their stories onto the page. I’ve tried all kinds of things over the years—free writing, Artist’s Pages, collage, casting…the list goes on. One of the tricks that consistently works for me is to create a soundtrack for the book. Because they are not usually instrumental songs, I usually use the soundtrack to keep my head in the story while I’m away from my keyboard, not when I’m drafting it.
The Lost Art of Second Chances is a dual narrative. Lucy’s story is set in modern day but Bella’s story covers from the mid-1930s to just before the opening of Lucy’s narrative in the present. That’s a lot of musical ground to cover. Part of both Lucy and Bella’s narratives are set in Tuscany. Just as I started writing Lucy’s story as my 2011 National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) novel, I found Jim Brickman’s Romanza CD. With one exception, it’s instrumental. I played this album a whopping 57 times during the drafting process.
I also made a playlist for Bella and Lucy’s story. In the final draft, their chapters are more or less interspersed. I wrote them independently though—Lucy’s story in 2011 and Bella’s in 2014.
These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You) by Frank Sinatra
Always Something There to Remind Me by Naked Eyes
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy by Bette Midler (I know the Andrews Sisters did this originally but I had the Bette Midler version)
Dreams and Disasters by Owl City
A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square by Harry Connick, Jr. (Just like Bette, this is the one I had)
There You’ll Be by Faith Hill
Give Me All Your Luvin by Madonna
Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive by Bing Crosby & the Andrews Sisters
Sway by Michael Buble
Crazy for You by Madonna
Moonlight Serenade by Frank Sinatra
Livin’ On A Prayer by Bon Jovi
That’s Amore by Dean Martin
Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and the Comets
Your Love by The Outfield
Mr. Moon by Dick Hyman (from Moonstruck Soundtrack)
We Don’t Need Another Hero by Tina Turner
Surfin’ USA by the Beach Boys
In the Mood by Glenn Miller
Shooting Star by Owl City
Save the Last Dance for Me by Michael Buble
La Vie en Rose by Louis Armstrong
Put On Your Sunday Clothes by Michael Crawford (from Wall-E)
Lucy and Jack are a second chance at love story. They were teenagers in the 80s so I chose the Madonna, Bon Jovi, and other 80s hits to reference their high school experiences. As I was also a teenager in the 80s, this was a bit risky because I have my own associations with these songs. Still, they remind me of being in high school and work for me.
The Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, and Glenn Miller definitely harken back to the WWII era, which is just passing out of living history. Rock Around the Clock and Surfin USA connect to specific scenes in the novel and parts of Bella’s life.
I add to the soundtrack throughout the writing process as I find tunes that are appropriate.
What do you think? Any songs I should add?