NaNoWriMo – Day 5


Day 5 – Name two songs from your playlist that you feel are connected with your novel in some way, and explain how they are.

(I’m really late in posting this.)

As I write, I tend to listen to classical music or film scores because lyrics distract me. I usually throw a mix of such music into a playlist and add to it as I continue writing. This playlist has music from Amazing Grace, Atonement, Becoming Jane, Bright Star, Emma, The Holiday, Pearl Harbor, and Pride & Prejudice.

But today’s question asks for two songs, so I’m going to go with the following.

Bryce Dallas Howard and Joaquin Phoenix in The Village

1) The Village OST, “What Are You Asking Me?”
Composed by James Newton Howard

[Click here to listen.]

For the last two days, I’ve been listening to this soundtrack nonstop while I write. I just can’t believe how good it is. Of course, James Newton Howard is great. (Have you listened to Peter Pan?)

(See, I’m really weird: I actually walk out of cinemas fangirling over the score.)

The romance in this film is incredibly moving. I know, I know, M. Night Shyamalan makes increasingly horrible films, but Joaquin Phoenix and Bryce Dallas Howard floored me with their performances. (Watch. This. Scene. It’s so good.)

It’s probably a negative attitude to have, but life is a very cruel, and you have to go through the darkness before you can find peace. I think my character Catherine is in a very dark place. She tries to find humor, but I think it’s just a brave face to wear. She’s struggling with a lot of issues. The music in this piece is beautiful and sad, and to me it’s a good example of how Catherine is trying to find a better life, but she has to keep fighting for it. Unlike the other characters in my story, Catherine hasn’t had a lot of good experiences.

Now, on a completely different note:

Jessica Brown-Findlay and Rose Leslie in Downton Abbey

2) Downton Abbey OST, “Us and Them”
Music by John Lunn and Don Black

[Click here to listen.]

This British television series actually got me interested in writing this story for NaNoWriMo. Its first season is set during 1912-1914 with second taking place during 1916-1918. While I was watching it, I found myself becoming more and more intrigued about this time period in America because I don’t know much about it. I knew that the American Old West was ending, although we still had a few cowboys and outlaws kicking up dust, but I didn’t know of much else. It was very much a time of transition for America. While watching Downton Abbey, I was interested in what American life would have been like. Thus, this novel was conceived.

I have two other characters in my story that haven’t been quite fleshed out, but I have plans for them. I was able to write a short segment today that featured these two, and while I did so, I stopped listening to the sad tunes of The Village soundtrack and played this album on my iPod. I like the idea that these two characters are rather sheltered. One is rich, and the other is just average. At the moment, they’re just spectators, but they won’t be for long.

So that’s what I’m listening. I suggest you have a listen yourself sometime. Or just watch the films they come from. They’re really good stories.

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