Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Music for loving

I was thinking about writing a blog entry on music and writing last night, as I was gnashing my teeth and staring at the screen. Then the Smart Bitches talked on their blog this morning about music for sex, getting in first and much more wittily, as usual, and totally eclipsing my small, not-then-existant ramble.

I'm rewriting a love scene. For the umpteenth gazillion time, trying to get the darn thing right. This one is tough. The characters are reserved, controlled, and powerfully attracted to each other - emotionally even more than physically. They're also exhausted, and in the middle of a heart-rending case, and they both know that after the case - if they get through it - they're each going their different ways. So it's a love scene more than a sex scene - tenderness, emotional intimacy, vulnerability, poignancy. (Yes, yes, I do have characters that just get down and do it, but these two aren't them.)

The 'theme' music I've been playing while struggling with this scene includes several haunting Celtic airs: 'Mrs Mary Stitt' (played by the group Tannas); 'Seathan' (Alistair Fraser); and 'Fraoch A Ronaigh' (Mouth Music). DH burned my playlists on to a CD at the weekend, and I may well wear out the CD tonight, trying to finally nail this damn scene down.

In total contrast to these characters, I've already drafted the first and second love scenes for the hero and heroine of the loosely-linked sequel. And their music couldn't be more different, becuase the characters and the scenes are so different. Waterboys. Early Waterboys. Raw and earthy and passionate and demanding and uncompromising. Best played up LOUD. A Pagan Place. Savage Earth Heart. Don't Bang the Drum. Trumpets. The Big Music. This is the Sea.

The next book I have to finish after this one might well have some Sinead O'Connor in it's 'soundtrack'. Troy, Drink Before the War, Never Get Old, Just Like You Said it Would Be. Not so much the literal words of any of those, but the emotion of them - the passion, the darkness, the honesty, the knowing.

Of course, the problem for me with listening to music is that ideas for stories bubble away. I'm listening to Sting's Englishman in New York right now - and I'd love to come up with a hero like that ;-) Once again, not so much the literal words, but the idea and the emotion and rhythm of the music. (He would, naturally, look like Sting.) And someday I'll have to write a sex scene to Dave Brubeck's Take Five. (Ellora's Cave might have to publish that one.) June Tabor's song The Old Miner has me itching to write an historical. Dead Can Dance's The Writing on my Father's Hand - I think that will have to be a somewhat dark fantasy.

Yes, just in case you were wondering, I do have eclectic tastes in music. We've got 300+ CDs in our collection, plus a few zillion vinyls. (Yes, I'm that old. And DH is even older.)

Oh, and the next time anyway tries to tell me that writing sex scenes in romance is easy and formulaic, I may well hand in my pacifist card and get violent.

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