Story in Songs

I’ve mentioned music and how important it is for my writing process before (here and here) and thought I would do a quick little insight into some of the top tracks for my current story [working title: Colors to Stars]. While the Spotify playlist has 90 songs and over 6 hours of delightful music to inspire, there are select ones that really stand out as representing the story.

In terms of tone, “Until We Go Down” by Ruelle makes my imagination go wild with ideas.

I can really picture moments when I listen to this song, like a music video or storyboard in my head. While things aren’t in chronogical order or even longer than a few seconds, I can see the pacing and movement in the story and get a lot of ideas just by daydreaming with this song playing.

Focusing more on characters, “Enough For Now” by The Fray really pushes me to think about the characters.

 There is a lot of regret and doubt about past decision in this story, and even though this song doesn’t speak entirely to the events, it really pulls out a lot of truths in how the characters think about the past and the evolution of their heartaches over the years.

The cover of “Skinny Love” by Gavin Mikhail is another one that touches really deeply with the characters.

 There is a lot of longing for something broken to be alright in this song and I think that lines up with the hopes of the characters as well. There is this longing that if only things had worked out, or maybe it will all be worth it in the end, and I love how this song is so heart-breaking. It really helps me to feel for my characters and empathize with their hurts.

Switching over to themes, “You Are More” by Tenth Avenue North is such an anthem for this story. It’s a song I wish my characters could hear.

 As I’ve mention, there is a lot about regret in this story, and there is even more about identity. In the world I’ve created, identity seems like it should be so simple, so easy, and yet one step outside of the norm opens up a endless pit of questions. Characters are tied down so tightly to expectations, and my main character is bond by her past, by the mistakes that have been made, by the sins she has tried to bury, by her cowardness.

Light and Darkness are such huge, huge themes for this story for me, and I think it will invade my story in more ways than I can anticipate, but the one thing that I really hope to make clear is this idea that we don’t have to be defined by the past. We can let ourselves be defined by it though, by mistakes or by poor reputations.

Hiding the past, ignoring the past-both are simply band-aids. True healing only comes from facing it head on and decide to be different despite the past, because, as the song says,

This is not about what you’ve done,
But what’s been done for you.
This is not about where you’ve been,
But where your brokenness brings you to
This is not about what you feel,

But what He felt to forgive you,
And what He felt to make you loved

By God’s grace, the mistakes and failures of our pasts can be forgiven, and in His love and His sacrifice on the cross, we can be new creations, walking onward without beind held down by the darkness in our pasts.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
-John 1:5

How’s that for a teaser on my latest project? I gave away lots more little nuggets about this story than I intended with a simple soundtrack post, but I hope it piqued your interest at least and I can’t wait to share more soon!

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