Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Immersion



As a writer, the one thing I always strive to do is immerse my reader in my world. One thing that fills me with pride is the feedback I receive from readers who tell me that at times they become emotionally attached to the characters or that they feel part of the world in which they are reading. I attribute this to one thing; feeling part of that world myself as I am writing. To do this I have a tool which I use to help me get there, and that tool is music.
     If anyone has read my previous blog, you’ll probably know how un-conventional I am as a writer. I don’t plot a basic story before I begin writing, I just know what will happen at the end and work towards it from there. When I do arrive at an emotional, high charged scene that I want to create, I look to music for inspiration. I research what type of emotion I want my characters in that scene to feel and hit the internet to research. Each writer will be looking for something different in musical styles, but I always look for orchestral scores. When I write, I see what unfolds within my mind’s eye. A lot of writers see their story as a movie as they create their work, and usually a movie has an accompanying soundtrack.
     Over the years I have been writing, my own CD collection has changed from one of rock to one of orchestra, so much so that last year I only purchased one CD that wasn’t presided over by a conductor. Scores are created for one purpose, and that is to generate emotion. If you watch a movie with a sad ending, usually it’s not the acting that makes you become emotional, it’s the music.
     When I started writing I wanted to feel that emotion and pour it in to my work. I wanted the reader to feel that situation unfold and become immersed in what was happening. What I have always done is to listen to the music whilst creating the scene within my mind, that way I can visualize that scene with a soundtrack and let my mind run with the music. This way when I come to write I can feel the senses of terror or jubilation, or the threat of war and conflict.
     Various video sharing websites hold countless entries for music. Have a browse on them and see what you can find. Write the emotion you want and ‘scores’ afterwards. See if it works for you.

Alan Keen

1 comments:

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

The sound track for my novels runs though my own head. Probably at my age it holds more variety than that of a younger person.