Music and Writing

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Warning: This post contains spoilers (The E Series).  Please be especially careful if you are reading this on social media, as the accordion formatting that will protect the spoiler content on my blog most likely will not transfer through to social media channels.

Most of the time when I’m writing, I prefer to have it quiet.  I am not one of those authors who constantly has music going during work time.  But every once in a while I do like to listen to music while I’m working, and sometimes that music can be incredibly inspiring and helpful to the creative process.

I was on Youtube the other day and happened to come across a music compilation that I listened to when I was writing Elegy and Endgame.  It’s called “World’s Most Emotional Music: 2 Hours Epic Music Mix: Volume 2” by Epic Music World.  The whole thing is great, and has definitely provided me with a lot of inspiration.  I thought you guys might enjoy having a listen, too.  Click here to go to the Youtube compilation.  (As an aside, that gorgeous thumbnail art on the compilation is by an artist that goes by the tag WLOP and writes graphic novels.  I am so drooling over this art.  WLOP, if you’re reading this, will you make The E Series into a graphic novel for me?)

There are two particular tracks on this compilation that I ended up really connecting to, and they are coincidentally back to back, right at the beginning.  In my head, they will forever be the “Oscar tracks”.  I’ll just point you at tracks two and three, which I can no longer listen to without seeing certain scenes in my head.  And… spoilers…

Track two: “Tears of War” by Collosal Trailer Music/Sup Pub music

This piece of music is so intense, it’s like having your soul pulled out slowly.  I connected to it immediately.  It had such a huge part in inspiring Oscar’s final appearance in DaMoynz.  Those deep, vibrating tones made me see this scene from Chapter 31: Shatter in slow motion:

Oscar…. One hand clutches his side.  Fresh blood rolls down his arm.  A drop gathers on his fingertips, releases, falls.  Cascading to the ground, it lands in a puddle of red that splashes his bare feet


Track three: “Fix Me” by Asith Perera

This is not the kind of music I normally find myself drawn to, but something about the lighthearted/heavyhearted feel of this track really got to me.  It was this track that inspired Oscar’s other scene in Elegy: the goodbye.  (Chapter 33: Brief)  When I listen to this track, I feel this undercurrent of grief and acceptance, but on top of all that there is joy and hope.  Also, I love the playfulness that mingles into this piece of music, which made me think of Oscar, and also inspired the leaves.

The wind swirls up, we let the leaves fly, and they spiral into the blue sky, lifting, lifting.  Our hearts go with them.


And one more…

Track Ten: “Civilization is Over” by Danny Rayel

This track was more of a thematic inspiration, rather than specifically attached to a scene.  For me, this music is tied into Eden and Apollon’s final stand somewhat (Endgame), but it is more about the overarching ideas of the inspiration behind that… specifically the impact that both Jonas and Oscar (and obviously their loss) had in shaping that future victory.  It’s about determination, grit, and meaning.  The following is from Chapter 37: For Them

I look up at Apollon, strength and emotion surging over me. “For Jonas,” I say.
He nods. “And for Oscar.”


What do you guys think?  Do these tracks fit with the scenes for you as a reader?  I’d love to hear your comments.  And if you want to point me toward any inspiring music that you just love, feel free to do that as well.



A thousand twisted paths…

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The past few weeks, I’ve been working like crazy on the prequel to the E series.  I’ve written approximately 90,000 words, and I’m coming to the ending.  I’m at a bit of a stopping point, where I need to figure out a couple of things before I move on.  But as I stop to think about this ending, which I mostly already have the answers to, I can’t help but think about the ending.  You know.  The big one.  And really, I’m not sure where that will end up.

Some writers seem to know exactly where their endings will be, from the moment they start writing.  They know that their characters will eventually get their happily ever after, or not.  They know where the characters will be in the end.  I, on the other hand, have more and more trouble committing to an end.  For one, when I decide “Right, this is how it’s going to be,” I lose some of the excitement of the finding-out.  I prefer to be in the story with my characters.  They don’t know.  I don’t know.  It’s easier to be immersed in the writing, to be immediate.  In the moment.

I cannot, however, help but play with the endings, batting them around in my mind like a cat with a mouse.  There are so many delicious endings.  How do you choose?  Sometimes I wonder, is one more real than the others?  More right?  Do I try to please my readers?  Please myself?  There are so many questions.  And really, all the endings seem right, because changing the tiniest detail in the story will change the outcome.  It could happen in so many ways.  So for me, the thousand twisted paths lead to a thousand true endings.  I experience them all.  But for my readers, there can be only one.

I don’t believe in tossing out alternate endings.  As a reader, I have never appreciated them.  I have always wanted the author to tell me which one is true.  So I guess my job is to find the one true ending.  And yes, I think there really must be.  Because, when I think back on the books that I’ve loved, some of them have had the right ending, and some of them– favorite books or not– have failed to satisfy me in the end.  The ones with the most impact had the right ending.  An ending I could believe in.  An ending that made everything else more potent.  That brought meaning to it all.  So yes, that’s the ending I’m looking for.

Along the way, I’ll try out a thousand more.  And while, yes, I do know some important things about where it all ends, the most important are yet to be discovered.  I’ll mostly try to keep my eyes closed— to avoid peeking too much— so that when the ending does get here, it will be as exciting and new to me as it is to you.