Story Inspiration: The Playlists

Every author has a different process. The guideline that has stood the test of several writing conferences seems to follow the formula of – this is the one and only true way to do things… unless something else works for you, then do that. For me, music isn’t only a needed feature, but it is significantly related to the piece I am working on. Each and every project has it’s own playlist. While some have to avoid anything with lyrics, I embrace it.

I say this for several reasons. Well a couple of reasons. At least two. Halfway decent ones.

One of my favorite bands as of late has been Wayland. If you are following my feeds in Facebook or on Twitter you have likely seen several posts about going to their shows or cool things coming up from them. Around a year ago or so, I was unaware of them. My initiation into the Wayland Warriors revolves a lot around not only the music, but the band itself. They mimic many aspects of my favorite writers, or celebrities in general.

So let’s take it by the numbers…

1. Their Attitude

During the course of the year, I have checked out many of the videos the band has posted. In a couple of the interviews they related how much satisfaction they get when fans write them/tell them about how a song affected them or inspired them. While bringing in the money is always a possibility, and really should be a goal, this attitude is the target of an artist. A real artist.

2. Their Interaction

Before and after a set, the group is always around the bar or the merch booth. They talk with fans, engage them and seem to really listen to them. These are the people that will be financially supporting them and will potentially pass along the fever to join the Wayland forces like a zombie-infected bite, so it makes sense. This is a lot of what I think draws people to new media, and they are enacting a similar model.

3. Their Music

Describing the music is difficult. It boils down to the song they are playing. For my part, I see them as a rock band in the truest sense of the word. It can be hard and heavy; or it can be melodious and harmonized; or it can be something powerful that moves you from the gut – it all depends on the song. Several of the songs have lead me to the next point.

4. Their Inspiration

Remember my point on fans being inspired by something they played? After finishing up with Under the Hood, I was looking into a second book with those characters. One not for charity, but for regular publication. With the bad guy involved there would be a lot of empathetic and telepathic battles going on. When looking for songs to fill out the playlist that would live on the iPod/iPad for writing, I came up with a couple to represent the bad guy in question (Blood by In This Moment and I Miss the Misery by Halestorm), but for the hero I was looking for something. A song that would become Dukes’ anthem of sorts. And in going through the music I had on hand I came up with Welcome to My Head.

Welcome to My Head was one of their big singles off their EP. I bought it at the first concert I saw them in. It’s a thing with me, support local artists/writers morphed into a support touring bands rule. Especially ones that frequent your local area or are local to your area. It didn’t register at the time, but the lyrics to the song fell right into place with the idea I had for the climactic showdown between my Honkytonk Hunter and the Monster(s) he was to be facing.

Though I have linked it before, I’ll include the video below for those who haven’t yet heard the song…

5. Their Personalities

While all of this is good, the personalities of the people in question meshing well with mine will lock that association into place. It will draw me into going out to their shows. It will keep me listening. New songs coming out will likely find their way into my next projects if their themes mesh with whatever I am writing. Hell, it kept me out at Brat Fest, sitting in the rain to listen to their set. (It was a light rain, but still…)

Next blog post, I will go over some of the other artists that are sitting on my writing playlists. As well as picking apart what it is about these songs specifically that marries them to the stories I am working on.

Until then I have to run. I am making a bunch of my Iron Druid cupcakes (renamed to their original Irish Car Bomb theme) to bring to the concert tomorrow night. Yes, there is booze in them. No, they aren’t vegan. Yes, they use real sugar, real butter, and reach Dutch process cocoa powder. Photos will follow if I remember.

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