Warning - Some posts may cause choking, spitting of beverage and /or a severe giggle fit. This advice brought to you by regular reader Louisa.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009


I love music, always have. I especially love dancing to it (not that I'm a great dancer, but I'm enthusiastic if nothing else). I love dance songs, love songs, sad songs.... you name it. I love instrumental albums, original soundtrack albums, Irish music, tribal music.... the list is endless (but don't include that awful drum and bass stuff, I can't stand it).

What I love most about music is the emotion it conveys. There are certain songs that literally give me goosebumps, while other have my feet tapping happily as soon as the intro starts. I think I would probably be a big fan of opera too, if ever I was fortunate to see it done live. Storytelling and music - two of my favorite things combined.

Lucky for me, my trip into Fanficland alerted me to the joys of songfics. There, in front of my very eyes, were the most wonderful things in the world. Stories about my favorite characters set to the background of my favorite songs. Heck, I thought, I should do this!

So I did! And in doing so, I found something so enjoyable that it soon become one of my favorite ways to tell a story. Now, most people think of a storyline before finding a song to frame it with. I'm the opposite. I have a word file (still to be imported from my old laptop, true, but I have it all the same) with a significantly large list of songs that I absolutely must incorporate into a story sometime in the future. A song could be on my list for months - or longer! - before I think of a plot to go with it, but when I do think of one, the story practically writes itself.

This was what happened when I wrote Pages from the Past (yes, it's a shameless plug, but I've been writing Harry Potter fanfic for such a long time that I thought it was fitting to mention it on here, and if I am mentioning it, I might as well 'share' it too *shifty*). I'd heard the song that inspired it at the beginning of December of last year, but it wasn't until January of this year that the story suddenly popped into my head. Fully formed, no less. I had three crazy days of writing and posting updates, but throughout all of it I was grinning. Everything fell into place when I wrote it, and nothing was forced. Heck, I was listening to music and talking to my kids half the time I was writing it, so the actual writing practically did itself.

To date, it is possibly my favorite piece of fanfiction that I have ever written (apart from my first serious fanfic, that is, which will probably always be the one that I hold a standard to). It had been a long time since I had written anything more than a drabble, and it was the music that inspired me.

Maybe it's just me, but I think music can be a great form of inspiration. I highly recommend it to anyone who is experiencing the dreaded Writer's Block. I'll be digging out an old Enya CD in the next few days. For some reason, her beautiful voice - combined with the haunting music -always puts me into the right frame of mind for working on my novel. It just works, somehow.

So, to end today's ramble, I'd like to say this: Music and writing - don't knock it until you try it!


  1. Oh, I like this post! I'm a folk music person myself. I love opera and classical, but I have to say Irish and Scottish folk music is my main love. There is no voice to top Mary Dillon's. Try listening to two songs she sings called The Benedy Glen and Dark Iniseoghain. I think I spelled that last one right. If you like haunting melodies those two are great. Framing stories to fit songs sounds like an interesting prospect. I may try it.

  2. I really love your song-fics, Tara.

  3. Marjorie - You should definitely try it some time. Some music is great for simply setting the mood, but sometimes it's the actual song lyrics that fit the story. You just have to play with them :) And I'm pretty sure that I have Mary Dillon on CD somewhere. I have a ton of Celtic CD's in my collection, it's just a question of going trhough them

    Natasha - thanks! I really love writing songfics, so it's good to know that someone else apart from me enjoys them.*grins*