BY MINDI SCOTT
Backstory: For the book Michelle and I are working on together, we’re writing alternating first-person viewpoints. She’s writing the girl (Cloudy) and I’m writing the boy (Kyle).
So, hey! Look what I saw this weekend as part of my Kyle research!
What? You can’t tell what that is? Okay, how about this:
You still can’t tell? And the title of this post didn’t give it away? Okay, look at this:
Yes! Death Cab for Cutie was at the Paramount in Seattle! And I went! For Kyle’s sake!
You see, part of my writing process involves choosing music that can help me to better channel my characters. It’s Very Serious Business, this whole finding-my-character’s-voice thing.
When things are going awesomely with a manuscript, I might be able to get away with listening to lots of band while I’m writing, as long as they fall into a particular genre. When I’m struggling, I might have to listen to one song on repeat for days on end. It can be kind of rough (especially when that song is “See You Again” by Miley Cyrus), but isn’t as dreadful as it sounds. Really!
But when I’m only a few chapters into a project (like I am with this book) I usually allow myself to listen to songs performed by only one band/artist until I feel that I’ve completely found my character’s voice and can branch out.
For Kyle, that one band happens to be Death Cab for Cutie. It’s all Death Cab all the time around here, even when I’m not writing. Which means that when I found out Death Cab would be playing in Seattle, I had no choice except to make sure that I was there, right?
At this point, I can kind of map out Kyle’s emotional progression that I imagine will take place during the course of the story with three specific Death Cab songs. (I think there is a fourth song that should be in the mix, but I haven’t uncovered it yet.) Last night, Death Cab, along with the Magik*Magik Orchestra, performed two of those three songs, and it totally brought tears to my eyes.
Yay for fun and inspiring outings that I can call “character research”!
(I found this video on YouTube. It was taken at a different stop on Death Cab/Magik*Magik tour. The strings and final lines of this song SO affect me. Beautiful!)