I am writing the pieces of my serial novel one at a time, in between the bigger novels. So the book soundtrack for A Merge of Magic is evolving slowly, too. I have some of the same songs from the bigger playlist (just called the “Fay of Skye” playlist), mostly pieces from TV and film scores. The Outlander series score features heavily, as does Game of Thrones, the Journey videogame soundtrack, and the narrative-driven orchestral albums by Thomas Bergersen, James Dooley, and Two Steps from Hell. I’ve also recently added some tracks from the Two Cellos and The Piano Guys.
But of particular interest are these character-driven songs:
“Brave Enough” by Lindsey Stirling, featuring Christina Perri
This is early in Viola and Ian’s relationship, from Viola’s perspective. But that’s where I am in the story right now, so it makes sense! Viola is questioning whether her devotion to her ideals and causes is bravery, or if she’s being a coward because she can’t admit and accept how she feels for Ian, and how he feels for her.
“Heart’s a Mess” by GOTYE, from the Gatsby soundtrack (note–if possible, I will embed the official version here, uploaded by the artist, but in this case I opted for the soundtrack version because the official music video is SUPER WEIRD).
This is Ian’s song for Viola. They are now desperately connected, her heart’s a mess, and she definitely, definitely cannot live the way she has been, with part of her soul closed off. Ian wants her to reach back to him emotionally the way she has merged with him magically, so that they both can become whole.
“Gravity” by Sara Bareilles (yes, she shows up on my book soundtracks often)
This one is a little darker than the tone I’m going for in the story, but this is sort of how both Viola and Ian feel about their relationship. They kept getting drawn back together, even though nothing ever comes of it, and it doesn’t make either one of them happy. This will be a recurring theme throughout the parts of the serial, until they finally move past all of the weights holding them back and find their happily-ever-after.
Sometimes, when I need to dive deep into the emotion of a scene, I will play one of these songs (or others) on single repeat, until I stop hearing the words and just feel the throbbing heartbeat underscoring my writing.
It drives my husband crazy if he’s home and I’m not wearing headphones, because to him it’s just a song on repeat forever. I tell him it’s the same as when he’s playing an RPG and the battle theme comes on—you hardly notice when you have to actually fight the battle; it’s just a part of the experience. But if I’m in the kitchen washing dishes, all I hear is overworld theme-battle theme-overworld theme-battle theme on a constant loop. Things always sounds different from the outside.
So there you have it! A glimpse into the nuts-and-bolts of my writing world. If you can listen to music and read at the same time, try playing these when you read the next installment of A Merge of Magic. It will be available on November 23, 2016. Or, if you haven’t read part one, go do that now! It’s only 99 cents, or free to read with your Kindle Unlimited subscription.