Adding the Second Dimension: The Importance of Having a Book Playlist
by Allyson Gottlieb
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything." —Plato
Of our five senses, the two big ones—the ones we are constantly using to perceive and understand the world around us—are sight and sound. To have one without the other would be to get only half the story.
So why should our writing be any different?
Making a playlist can be very fun (it’s also an excuse to do nothing but lie around and listen to music for a couple hours, hello?). My playlists aren’t meant to be listened to while you read the book, but rather as more of a supplementary thing.
When picking songs, I look for lyrics that remind me of certain moments in the story. Maybe a specific character, maybe an important scene, maybe a central theme or idea. I’ve noticed that I tend to use more indie-type artists or obscure songs by popular artists—they just fit the feel I’m going for more. But who knows? Maybe you’ve written a chick lit romance that goes perfectly with Kelly Clarkson and Katy Perry.
With Darkest Legacy, since it’s a shorter piece, I decided to do something a little different. Instead of a more general full-book playlist for each installment, I’m doing a series of character-centric playlists to go with every novella specific to the character that features most heavily in it. (For example, the one to go with Darkest Legacy was for Tamara since we see the entire story through her eyes. The one for Darkest Shadows will be for Valentine since it’s told half in his perspective.)
To give you a better idea of what I’ve been talking about, here’s one of the entries from the Tamara playlist:
“Falling” by The Civil Wars
Why am I feeling so guilty?
Why am I holding my breath?
Worried about everyone but me
And I just keep losing myself
Please, please tell me you know
I’ve got to let you go
You can see the rest of the Tamara playlist here: Linky
See? I’ve got the song and artist, a snippet of the lyrics, and my explanation for why I chose it. Pretty easy, right?
And a word about explanations: It’s likely you will find a song or two that foreshadow or tease some major turning point or plot twist in the novel. (I certainly have.) Don’t shy away from including them by any means. Remember, most of the people who see the playlist will likely be people who’ve read your book. But for those who haven’t, just word the explanations carefully.
Even if the song isn’t about a spoiler, the explanation shouldn’t be too specific. Everyone is going to interpret music differently, just as everyone reads a story differently. That’s why I don’t see my playlists as being a background track for my books. They’re just another way to live inside the world I’ve created, touching another one of the senses.
Guys, give this little lady's book a shot!
Title: Darkest Legacy
Author: Allyson Gottlieb
Genre: YA Paranormal
Length: Approx 51 Printed Pages
Amazon Link: Kindle $0.99
Description:A fast-paced, high-stakes novella
Everyone has secrets they'd prefer stayed buried. But information wants to be free... and so does Tamara Kingsley's ex-lover, incarcerated on the maximum-security prison planet, Alpha.
Tamara has done things she's not proud of, but that was years ago. Now the headmistress of the Silvermist School of Magic, she has an honest life, one that makes her happy. For the last twenty years she's fought like hell to keep it that way, and she thought she had succeeded.
She's about to find out just how wrong she was to think her past was dead and gone.
Follow her on the Web!
I do hope you all take a chance on this book, it's a great read!
Don't forget to check out the interview with Allyson from last Monday.
Do you have a playlist for your book(s)? Link 'em up in the comments!
Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!