Our theme here on the old Foxes and Hound blog this week is to discuss what we do when we get a story idea. I’m very much a pantser. I usually get the hero in my head first, starting with his name. Then the heroine comes to me. I get a general idea of the conflict and the beginning of the story- sometimes the first sentence, sometimes a setting, sometimes just a characteristic.
Once I have this much, I start to make a playlist of songs that either fit my theme, a characteristic or the setting. Sometimes this works out well and sometimes not. I make the playlist on the Ipod and also burn a cd. I listen as I work and drive and immerse myself in the songs. This helps me come up with scene ideas.
There are three examples I’ll share with you. My book out on submission right now called Code Name: Galahad’s Daughter, takes place partially in NYC and the hero is an Interpol agent. There’s a real band called Interpol. They have a song called New York. I downloaded it to the cd. That was the only reason I downloaded it. I hadn’t really memorized the lyrics. When I started the story, I thought it was going in one direction and in Chapter Two, it took a WILD turn. One of the lyrics in this song must have been working on my subconscious. The lyric is “I have seven faces, thought I knew which one to wear.” Without giving away the plot, this is spot on with the story and I had no idea about it when I got the initial idea for the story.
The second example is from my July release from Desert Breeze Publishing, Redemption for the Devil. My heroine in that story is a lounge singer in 1920. I downloaded Stardust as I wanted her to sing it. Well, dang, when I did my intense research, Hoagy Carmichael didn’t pen it until much later in the 1920s. So, not so good that time around.
My book that’s already out from BookStrand Publishers, Surfer Bride, has a neat segue with a song called Sylvia’s Mother. I love this song by Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show. I had the idea for a surfer heroine as my son is a surfer and I enjoy all that goes along with that lifestyle. I also had the idea of the misunderstanding/lover’s triangle in the book based on something that happened in my own life. The first chapter of the story is about the heroine moving away to marry another guy and the hero calls and her friend won’t let him talk to her on the phone.
Sometimes I don’t have time to do a soundtrack and immerse myself in it and that’s all right, too but I find the music helps the words flow better. AND when I listen to the soundtracks of the books that are already done, I’m right back in my story. That’s fun!