The Muse in Our Music: How Sound Inspires Story

*Originally published on I Came For The Soup… June 23, 2014

“…music is the water that takes potentiality and turns it into a tangible substance.”

Music, whether it is just background noise or a tool used to build the plots of my written works, has always been a big part of my creative process, and it always will be.

Whenever I write, whenever I create visual art, I always allow my ‘ear gates’ to be open. With writing, there is, of course, the ‘eye gate’ that we all use in order to aid in the imagery of our stories giving our creations a place to tread upon. Visual stimulus is a fantastic seed, that when planted in the right creative soil, can hold the potential of yielding a magnificent literary harvest.

But sound, music, music is the water that takes potentiality and turns it into a tangible substance.

Song and sound are the creative vibrations that resonate in the deepest part of our soul, spirit, and imagination. Song shifts the atmosphere around us, changes our mood, directs our minds.

Music is the inspirational tool that we all use on a daily basis whether we realize it or not. The sound of fan blades blowing in your ears at night helps you to sleep. The sound of rain, thunder, and lightning help you to relax and for me, create.

Music keys are Keys that unlock the doors to our created worlds and the hearts and minds of our characters.

Love songs put us in a loving mood. Angry songs make us want to break things. When we struggle to connect with our emotions, music, be it with words or just instrumentals, help us to say and express what needs to be said and expressed in the moment when our own words fail us.

With each novel that I have sat down to write, I have leaned on specific tunes to meditate on in order to “get my head in the game,” if you will. Not only does the music remind me of the story and place me right in the center of the plot, but it gets my inner-man, my creative man, in touch with the emotion and mood of the scene. Most importantly, it helps me get into the heads of my characters.

Without doing this, getting into the characters’ heads and hearts, there would be no story to tell. Music is the bridge that brings our worlds together.

Music is a language all its own. It has a sound and it has a script. It has to be learned for literacy but even without literacy we all come tuned to understand what is being said. The beauty of it is that the lyrics can be saying something contrary to the story it births in us.

For each story that I have written, there is a different soundtrack or sound map. The keys within the songs help me unlock each character. Sometimes I focus on one specific character and through their unveiling, I see into the hearts of the other characters around them.

Just like us, our characters are people too. They are complex, they are layered, and like symphonies, they have highs and lows, drama and peace.

Create an atmosphere of sound for yourself and your stories. Let the music and sound speak and be sure to listen.

“The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words.”  ~William H. Gass

How to Tackle NaNoWriMo: My Advice To You (Day 1 of Countdown)

In less than a week, November 1st will be here, and a mass of heroes and heroines will be born from the typing fingers of those who have bravely taken up the challenge to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days.

First, let me say congratulations on being brave enough to challenge yourself with this. I have participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and each year I have come away with a fantastic body of work (that yes, needs editing and revision) that I can be proud of.

Now, let me clarify, I have not officially done the NaNoWriMo with the whole registration thing (which I totally recommend because they have some great rewards for those who complete the 30 days with 50,000 words or more.) Why? Well, because I tend to use any 30 day month, June being the month of choice, to tackle my writing adventure.

November, June, September, April, any of these months will do. They all have 30 days, and they all afford you the chance to learn something new about yourself and your writing craft, and most awesomely, to walk away with the foundation of a novel or a completed novel before you enter the next calendar month. And thus far, I have walked away with several novels and series ready for revision.

Q. SO WITH ALL OF THAT SAID, WHAT DID I LEARN AND WHAT CAN I SAY AS A WORD OF ADVICE FOR DAY ONE OF THE COUNTDOWN TO NANOWRIMO?

A. I learned that, for me, there is NO SUCH THING AS WRITER’S BLOCK.

There are several reasons why we “think” we are blocked, but the truth is we always have something to say, we just have to allow ourselves to say it. Check out my  post on my sister site, I Came for the Soup,  “Are You Listening.” It highlights one of the reasons that keep us from achieving written awesomeness.

My advice…

TIP 1: Sit down and write something. Close your eyes and let your fingers do the talking. If you are relaxed and just let your imagination do what it does, the words will come, and something magical and fulfilling will happen. Don’t psych yourself out with all the overthinking. Breathe, type, breathe, type, breathe.

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AVAILABLE NOW ON AMAZON!

Go to Amazon.com to check out NEXUS GATE 4037: THE ANIMAL, my Second NaNoWriMo piece and my very first Indie Published Novel!

“The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.” ~TERRY PRATCHETT

 

Nexus Gate 4037: The Animal Now Available on Amazon in PAPERBACK!!!

Friends and fellow Genre Jumpers! The day is now upon us! NEXUS GATE 4037: THE ANIMAL is NOW AVAILABLE in PAPERBACK and ebook on AMAZON! NG 3D Front 2

(Forgive all of the capitalizations, but this lady is HAPPY!!!!)

You have GOT TO GET THIS BOOK! and not just because I say so, but because others do.

“…This is one wild ride, with time travel from future to past and back again. Enter the year 4037–the past–where the future makes a point of studying what’s already happened without interfering unless absolutely necessary. Vivian’s time surveillance is thrust into chaos after the disappearance of her husband in the nexus of time and the unwelcome appearance of ‘Tucker’ John from the year 1837…the year he was supposed to die. Thinking he’s been abducted, Tucker raises all sorts of a ruckus while bearing an uncanny resemblance to Vivian’s missing husband. Vivian must protect her time surveillance, keep the past she presently lives in and the past of humanity from falling apart. She’ not sure she can mourn the loss of her own John Spruce and hold on to her sanity in the face of a controlling, damaged, and twisted man from a past best left in the past all while searching for the cause of the tampering that led to their dangerous predicament. You really have got to get this book!” 

Here is another 5 Star review from a reader:

…Candice Coates’ ability to make you love a character you know you should hate is impressive. Vivian is a strong female lead whose drive is well-balanced by her compassion. And if there was one villain you should love to hate, you’d think it would be Tucker John. Nexus Gate 4037: The Animal is only the first book in this series, but Candice Coates has already gotten the series off to a dynamic and thrilling start…

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Head on over to Amazon and get your hands on your own copy, be it eBook or Paperback. Hey, why not get both?!

If you know anyone who has a love of science fiction and time travel, suspense, and alternative history, then this is definitely the book for them.

And if you aren’t already, be sure to FOLLOW me here, as well as on INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK!

In the meantime, here is a quote from the Animal himself, Tucker John, Nexus Gate 4037: The Animal,

“I swear fo’god before all this is said and done, you gon’ find out why they give me the name Tucka’!” ~TUCKER JOHN