Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Symphony of Words

If I am listening to music when I write the genre I choose is classical.  Writing each book could be viewed as a classical composition as well, combining every player into a well-rounded, beautiful blend of melody.

First are the soloists - your main characters.  Each must speak with their own voice and yet blend harmoniously into the piece as a whole.  I think about each character's vocabulary and speech rhythms.  Is this character well-educated?  Are they plain-spoken or crafty?  Nervous or confidant?  Answers give me the right notes.

Surrounding each of your soloists are the other members of the orchestra - your background characters.  Each has an essential role to play but can't draw too much attention to themselves.  Tricky.  I aim for their voices to be heard for a moment but not to be so unique that the voice will be missed.

No symphony could be played without a conductor - the one who puts their mark on every player and makes every creative decision - the author, if I continue this metaphor.  The author's voice is heard throughout the piece and must be distinctive, yet let the other players be heard clearly.

Nobody said this was easy; but it certainly can be a satisfying experience to read it all come together and hear each book's symphony.


  1. As usual, a very clever and creative way to look at putting together a novel. Of course, I never thought of it quite like this, but then I think in such a straight line that it’s hardly a surprise. So, is this working out for you? Are your characters blending harmoniously together. Does you WIP sound like the New York Philharmonic? Don’t need to answer. I know it does.

    Best Regards, Galen
    Imagineering Fiction Blog

  2. Sometimes I'll listen to music to inspire me if I'm having a hard time with a scene. I choose music that fits the mood I'm trying to create. Classical music is good for this (course, I'm a fan anyway), and movie soundtracks are great, too. You can find any mood you want, turn it up, and off you go.


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