I’ve finally got Nita’s soundtrack down and realized that I soundtrack in acts and arcs, too. The first pass (discovery soundtrack?) is just songs that seem to fit, not sure where or why, so there are usually a couple of dozen. But the more I zero in on the characters and the plot, the more songs fall off the list, and I start looking at what’s left in terms of character and plot arc.
The character themes at the beginning have stayed the same because they really reflected the characters; Lenka’s “Trouble is a Friend” for Nita, and Chesney’s “Demons” for Nick (which always cracks me up because Chesney’s song is a metaphor that reflects Nick’s reality: “When I’m not chasing demons, I’ve got demons chasing me”). But by Act Four I needed stronger songs because the stakes were so much higher. One of the great things about the Lenka and Chesney songs is that they’re low key, the characters acknowledging that they’ve got conflicts but nothing that they can’t handle. By the end, they’re passionate about each other and willing to risk everything to defeat the antagonist. And I had those, too; Nick gets Fleetwood Mac’s “Bleed to Love Her” and Nita gets the Kills’ “Future Starts Slow.” And then the resolution is basically my Universal Happy Ending song, Hiatt’s “That’s What Love Can Do,” because it’s so laidback and happy and about a stable situation. If a book moves from stability to stability (my books do), the the soundtrack should do the same, starting low key, rising in intensity and the ending with a button to evoke that HEA and stability again.
All of which is to say, soundtracks help me a lot when I’m writing. And even though I’ve done several digital collages for Nita, I really think I need a paper and found object one, too, so maybe next week while Krissie’s here we’ll get out the scissors and glue. In the meantime, here’s the revised soundtrack by acts:
Lenka: Trouble is a Friend
Kenny Chesney: Demons
Sara Bareilles: King of Anything
Fall Out Boy: Alone Together
She & Him: Together
Lake Street Diva: Godawful Things
KT Tunstall: Ashes
Ella Henderson: Ghost
Fleetwood Mac: Bleed to Love Her
The Kills: Future Starts Slow
John Hiatt: What Love Can Do