Continuing with NaNoWriMo themes songs, this next selection is one that I actually discovered well after the NaNoWriMo project that I found it appropriate for.
Back when I was writing my fourth NaNoWriMo, I found I was having difficulties keeping the momentum. At least until I stumbled across the song Hero by the band Skillet. The theme of the song seemed most appropriate for the story I was writing (a superhero adventure) that I even started to notice a shift in how characters acted within. Hero was featured in Saturday Songs a couple of months ago.
As is often the case with me, I start to search out other songs by the band once I heard one that I liked. During this search, I stumbled across another song that would have been perfect for the NaNoWriMo I had written two years before. Within this supernatural urban fantasy horror adventure, there was one character who was a werewolf. As is often the case, I tweaked what it was like being a werewolf, working in changes to personality, and the sufferer trying desperately to control the inner beast.
And in the lyrics for Monster by Skillet I found some of those same themes.
Sometimes, I have a soundtrack for what I’m writing. This was certainly the case for my first NaNoWriMo. In that case, the soundtrack was pulled from the songs that the main character quoted, or was performed by the female main character. That playlist had been on iTunes once, though it is now lost with their switch to Ping.
Most times, I usually just put iTunes on mix and let it play. Either that or I have Coast to Coast AM on since I write late at night/early in the morning. The odd mix of conspiracy, aliens, ghosts, and whatever George Noory was talking about helped with my second NaNoWriMo which tended to hit on almost all of those topics… except the aliens.
I ran into a problem with the fourth NaNoWriMo. This one was based on an idea that I had for a comic series. This is also the one that I am looking to rewrite. To be honest, a problem is a bit of an understatement. I ran into a lot of problems. The original idea began to fall short early, requiring me to start adding more and more scenes. These scenes actually worked out fairly well for the story, but helped add to the character bloat, something which I need to work on before I tackle the rewrite.
But, the real problem came from the music. Nothing I had really inspired me. I had some (actually a lot) of superhero music, but most of those songs were from the movies. it is hard to draw inspiration for your own characters when Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard’s Molossus kept making me think Batman. My writing started to drag. I just was not finding the right song.
At least, I had not found it just yet.
I’m not sure how I first heard Skillet’s Hero. I think it was after I heard Monster, another song from them from the album Awake. I think that came from an iTunes sample, which led me to Youtube to find the full video/song. From there I found Hero. This became the sound I was looking for.
After hearing that song, I had to pick it up. I ended up getting the entire album. And while I wrote, both Hero and Monster moved into heavy rotation. My writing picked up after that, finding the right song for the book. Even the lyrics “A hero’s not afraid to give his life” moved me to add not one, but two scenes in which a couple of the heroes in my book risked their lives to protect innocent lives.
I still listen to this song, especially when I need the motivation to work on the rewrites for that NaNoWriMo. Hopefully someday I will be able to assemble a soundtrack for that project like I did with the first one. There is absolutely no question that this song will be on it.
Skillet’s album Awake is available on Amazon, iTunes, and at your local record shop.
I always listen to a wide range of music, with the possible exception of hard core rap. Lately, though, I’ve been focusing more on more ecclectic bands. Currently in heavy rotation are Nightwish, Leaves’ Eyes and Skillet.
Currently, my top five songs on my iTunes playlist are:
Living in a Dream – Pseudo Echo
My Destiny – Leaves’ Eyes
Let You Down – Theatre of Tragedy
Skintight – Liv Kristine
Everything Burns – Ben Moody featuring Anastasia