Soundtrack to fiction

I don’t know how common this is among writers, but I imagine I’m not alone in linking music to my characters, to their relationships, and to particular scenes in my fantasy trilogy I’m hoping to re-release in a second edition next year.

There are so many different associations. When I was in grad school studying Spanish lit in Chicago, I drafted the first draft of that trilogy at a little cafe in Hyde Park called Cafe 53. I’d go there all the time and there were certain songs they played all the time, including Adele’s version of “To Make You Feel My Love,” Fountains of Wayne’s “Hey Julie” (which I already loved from “Scrubs”) and “Roll to Me” by Del Amitri.

Then there are the songs I have come to associate with particular scenes for some reason or other. I don’t know why, but my main trilogy has a lot of Better than Ezra and Matchbox 20 associated with it in my mind. I guess because I am a millennial and this is the music I grew up with. But more than that, I think it’s because even though my trilogy is sword and sorcery fantasy and takes place in a different world, I feeI like the combination of sincerity and emotion along with the upbeat tempo (symbolizing hope to me) fits.

If you’re curious, I associate “Real World” (I wonder what it’s like to be a rainmaker) with a training sequence when the protagonist is learning spells, and “Heaven” with the climax of the first installment. It’s PERFECT. Especially with the drums.

And then, of course, there are the couples who, after hearing a song, I thought, THAT IS THEIR SONG. Once again, Scrubs comes along to provide a song for the major couple of the entire trilogy: Francis Dunnery’s “Good Life.” The couple of book two actually has “You and Me,” as they are very much in the public eye. And Collin Ray’s “If I Were You” could not fit the couple of book three better if I wrote a song specifically for them.

Do you have any songs that remind you of writing, or of your characters? Or of famous characters you love? Are there great song placements you remember from TV or a favorite movie? Feel free to comment!

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