Nita’s Soundtrack, Revised Nov. 2017

One good thing about finally knowing the whole book, I also know the soundtrack, not just the songs that sound like they belong, but the songs that actually inform the different acts and plot moments.   Taken together, they make an odd playlist, but as background music for the book, they’re a help to me for  mood and character. They’re basically the aural version of collage, a tool that helps me stay on track with the world and the people in it that I’ve created, not meant to be a work of art.

Most of the lyrics aren’t directly related to the story, we’re talking mood here not illustration (wait, didn’t I say that about collage?) but there are some that are evocative.  I love Lenka’s “Trouble is a Friend” for Nita’s first act theme, not just because she accepts that she’s always going to be in trouble one way or another but because she’s about to meet Nick.  Chesney’s “Demons” has a couple of great lines that sum up Nick’s situation: “Once you’ve met the Devil, there’s no way he’ll set you free.  When I’m not chasing demons, I’ve got demons chasing me.”  

But mostly it’s mood; Henderson’s “Ghosts” doesn’t have the line alignment, but it captures the chaos of the turning point for Nita, all the things crashing down on her that lead to the fraying of her sanity.  I liked Mullins’ “Lullaby” for Nick even though the story it tells is about a singer and a celebrity kid in LA; there’s a bemused detachment there followed by the lovely chorus that is pretty much Nick’s attitude toward Nita at the beginning of Act Two.  It’s the same thing with Nita and Tunstall’s “Suddenly I See;” the words aren’t as important as the mood, the exhilaration as Nita looks at all the possibilities before her, admittedly with trepidation.

And then sometimes the songs just fit, like Lake Street Diva’s “Godawful Things” for Nita as she embraces a strange new world or “I Can’t Decide”for Nick’s third act when he becomes a Renaissance sociopath.   My favorite might be “Future Starts Slow” by the Kills for Nita’s climax–Nita in a fury is nobody to mess with–but that may be because I will always see PoI‘s Shaw walking down that New York street at night when I hear it.  Shaw is good inspiration for Nita.

Nita’s Soundtrack 11-2017

Nita’s Theme: “Trouble is a Friend,” Lenka
Nick’s Theme: “Demons,” Chesney
Nita vs. Nick: “King of Anything,” Bareilles

Turning Point: “Ghost,” Henderson

Nick’s Theme: “Lullaby,” Mullins
Nita’s Theme: “Suddenly I See,” Tunstall
Nita vs. Nick: “Together,” She & Him
Love Theme Nick: “Spooky,” Heap
Love Theme Nita “Godawful Things,” Lake Street Dive
“This Magic Moment,” Lake Street Dive

Turning Point: “Alone Together,” Fall Out Boy

Nick’s Theme: “I Can’t Decide,” Scissor Sisters
Nita’s Theme: “Human,” Pretenders
“Such a Night,” Presley
Nita vs. Nick: “Ashes,” Tunstall
“Too Lost In You,” Sugababes
Love Theme: “Somebody Knows You Now,” Paisley

Turning Point: “Demons,” Imagine Dragons

Nita’s Theme: “World on Fire,” McLachlan
Nita Harrows Hell: “Future Starts Slow,” The Kills
Nick’s Theme: “Bleed to Love Her,” Fleetwood Mac
Resolution: “What Love Can Do,” Hiatt


33 thoughts on “Nita’s Soundtrack, Revised Nov. 2017

  1. I find it fascinating how art and music “talk” to you and help to define characters. I am a reader and have No idea if this much work is typical of other authors, I don’t see how it can be. Many of the books I read seem to be not “dashed off” precisely, but more as if they sat down and typed away the same book with variations, with not much effort. I am sure I am maligning them, and the do work hard, maybe the muse works more quickly for them.
    I am really looking forward to this book.

    1. I think your judgement is sound: some authors end up writing on autopilot, and some start out that way – writing to a formula. Jenny’s way is much more risky – but it’s how you end up with a story that’s really alive.

  2. As ever, this is cool and educational.

    May I recommend Ella Henderson’s Ghost? It is a fave of mine BUT has some relevance to your subject matter.

    Aside, is addicting actually an American word? I’ve read a few books with ‘his addicting touch’ or ‘her addicting kisses’. I always expect the word addictive, as in ‘massage is very addictive for me’ (that bit is true, btw) and I actually get kicked out of the story if I read addicting.

    1. Addicting must be an American usage because I’ve been using it for years. But something is addicting never I am or you are addicting but I am or you are addicted.

      I just checked the dictionary and they say we’re just using it wrong. They told me very sternly that it was a verb and not an adjective.

      Of course, it was also the first choice under Google search, so it’s a common error here.

    2. “Ghost” is in there.

      Who used “addicting?” I can’t recall using it, but that may be because I’m still half asleep.

      1. Some writers in some contemporaries I read. It was an aside, as we are fond of here. Better to ask Argh than Twitter.

    3. It’s definitely an error that’s catching on and will probably eventually be “common usage.” As an English teacher, I sigh. I’m not a prescriptivist, but we already have a word for that!!!

      Another one is “conversate” in place of converse (although I admit for whatever reason I find that one amusing and I find “addicting” utterly maddening).

      Kids these days, humph, etc.

    4. Oh, I’m glad it’s not just me! This makes me crazy. Like people using healthful when they mean healthy. I’m convinced it’s not really a word.

  3. Well, you can’t be that old because I don’t think I know any of those songs.

    Great. Now, I’m old.

    (Okay, I know the Pretenders & Fleetwood Mac)

    I’m so glad it’s come together for you.

    1. I get a lot from recommendations and TV shows. I’ve found some of my favorites from TV shows. Person of Interest is particularly good for that, but Life was great, too, although the streaming/DVD versions have different songs.

      1. A lot of TV shows have really great music. I first heard Imagine Dragons on an episode of Arrow. And from Riverdale season 2 so far I’ve picked up Start A War, by Klergy, and Bad Man, by Esterly. Both of which would fit right in with the Nita soundtrack, I think.

    2. I feel better. I actually know more songs than I thought because I don’t know the song names or the band but I know to sing along when they come on the radio. So I’m up to 9.

      But I had to tell my niece today that how typing required actual re-typing if you changed your mind about how a paper was organized and the whole thought of it freaked her out.

      So, again, I’m old.

      1. How about alpha-sorting? I remember getting a huge encyclopedia of garden plants off the ground, and having to number each plant name so that the lists could be retyped in A-Z order. Once we had computers, I begged the programmer the firm was employing for an alpha-sort function. When, a few years later, I was customizing my copy of Word, I assigned a smiley face to the alpha-sort shortcut. I still appreciate it.

  4. I’m an overworked and fatigued individual. I missed it in your turning points. Ghost was my wake-up alarm for a year and is still one my phone as an option.

    I lost my voice today, it’s gone past Rani Mukerji deliciousness and heading toward Leviathan guys from Agent Carter season one. I’ve brewed killer ginger tea so that the heat comes out of my ears. Let me go back to sipping it.

    1. It is now Saturday morning in my neck of the woods. I’m not speaking at all.

      Lol, Jenny thanks for the typing bit. Made me laugh out loud literally. Sounded like a seal but without vocal cords. Vocal cords or vocal chords?

      1. Cords.

        I once had laryngitis. I made up a sign for my cubicle.

        1. Yes, I know it’s funny I can’t talk.
        2. Yes, I am taking note of who’s making fun of me when I can’t talk.
        3. Yes, I will be coming back at you once I can talk.

        I told my coworkers later that what really surprised me was not how much I talked at work but how much I talked at home to the cats and myself. Because at work I understood talking would not only hurt but everyone would laugh so I shut up. But at home I only caught myself when I was rattling off to the cats and it hurt.

        So my sympathies, but really not talking will cure it faster.

      2. I had to look it up because I was sure it was chords, but no. It’s vocal folds or vocal cords.

        I’d tell you a funny story about the week I tried to teach English as a Foreign Language using The Silent Way, but honestly, it wasn’t funny at all. I’ve blocked it out of my memory.

        Some people think it’s the chalk; can you give up chalk for a little while? I’m a big fan of ginger tea, too. And lemon tea, but not too much. And loads of honey in either (or mix up a big pot of lemon-ginger-yuzucha-honey tea and just sip all morning). Best wishes for a speedy vocal recovery!

  5. So I just loaded a lot of these songs through youtube, Jenny, and the next one that came up was Elvis doing “Devil in Disguise.”

  6. Jenny, have you come across Where the Devil Don’t Go, and Last Damn Night by Elle King? I’ve had Elle King on loop repeat while driving lately, and those songs in particular always make me think of Nita and Nick.

    1. Nope. I just got both the vocal and instrumental of Last Damn Night. What a great fourth act song. Thank you!


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