Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I think I should start each one of my posts with a weird confession about my writing habits, but then you might all think I was psycho. But here is one: Sometimes when I write, I listen to epic instrumental (movie) music because it makes me feel like my writing might turn out more epic.

Okay, I got that out of the way. Isn't it true, though? Putting an epic soundtrack behind anything makes it sound epic. I could make putting in contacts sound epic if I put Lord of the Rings music behind it. (Sometimes, it takes me so long to put in contacts, that it really could be considered an epic task once I finally shove those buggers into my small, Asian eyes).

So I finished reading Stay With Me (Garret Freymann-Weyr) and you know when you read the ending of a book, and suddenly it feels like there should be some terrifically epic trumpet music behind it because you get that "ah ha!" moment? That is how I felt when I finished that book. Because it had resonance. I felt like that book was going to stay with me (edit: wow, that was a totally unintentional pun), that I was going to continue giving it thought later. I think that's when you can say a book officially had a successful ending, when it gives you reason to reflect on it. 

It seems like an illusive quality, this resonance. Have you found a common thread in books with resonance? Or is it just something that happens when the writing is good?

(PS you know what is epic music is the soundtrack for Dragonheart, and I know this is like a 90's era film, but dammit people, if I didn't cry my freakin' eyes out when I watched it at the age of eight or whatever. I haven't seen it since, but I found the music on Youtube, and I am not lying to you when I say I was bawling by the end. Music can do that, I guess. Also, dying dragons do that.)


  1. I own the movie. Not going to lie, because Sean Connery as a dragon is epic. :) Also, I totally write to awesome soundtrack music too, because it helps the flow for some reason. I tend to actually watch movies while I write too, especially films in the same genre if I can. :D

  2. LOL about the dying dragons. And I'm totally about writing with a soundtrack. I want my stuff to be epic, too, dammit!

  3. Good choice in music. I ought to try that, listen to some epic stuff as I write. Despite the fact the movie is slightly cheesy, I enjoyed it too. And yeah, nothing better than Sean Connery as a dragon.

    Oh, feel free to tell us more writing confessions. We promise not to summon the men in white coats...for at least the first five times. :)

  4. Omigosh, I just added epic soundtrack music to the playlist of my book hoping it would make it more epic! Now I don't feel like such a geek!

    Resonance is kind of weird to me, because sometimes it's something totally insignificant that sticks with me about a book. Other times it's something huge and meaningful and unforgettable. I definitely agree that it's illusive.

  5. Soundtrack music is about the only music I can listen to when writing. I actually prefer silence or random noise. Most music with words distract me. Soundtrack music is also good for studying; that's mostly what I used it for. LoTR was great, but then it became distracting because I kept thinking about the movie. Same with Pirates. I actually get the most use out of 2 anime-related soundtracks: one from a movie, the other from a series.

    I LOVED DRAGONHEART. NO NEED FOR EXPLANATIONS! It was epic and awesome and twinged my little heart strings. I remember going to see it in theaters and being totally psyched that it was a movie about DRAGONS. The dragon still looks cool too, even with all the improved CGI we have now. <3

    Re: Resonance - hard to pin down. I mean, sometimes, I read great writing but it doesn't strike that chord you're talking about.

  6. Wow, this must be the confession of the week! I've read at least three writing blogs recently that discuss listening to soundtrack music while writing, and just like you/them, I personally do it all the time. It's easier for me to listen to something like the "Pride and Prejudice" OST versus "Pirates of the Caribbean", though, because the melodies are so much lighter.

    I also like to listen to Erik Satie, Claude Debussy, etc. for some creative white noise.

    Come to think of it, I think they must sell all of those OSTs to the writers, ha ha. It seems that's all we ever listen to a lot of the time!

    About resonance--I think using lots of enters (for lack of a better word) between important (heavy) thoughts is pretty effective. That way the reader doesn't see the sentences as one big group; it makes people focus on the real meaning of the words, and slows down the pace. It also makes the tone a bit more heavy. I used this a lot in "Ellipsis", and it seemed to work pretty well. :] Good luck!