Monday, October 6, 2014

30 Week Writing Survey - Week 7: Music

Now Playing: y'know, I listened and relistened to pretty much all the songs listed below...

I totally forgot to say this last time: Happy October! :3 I'm so excited for Halloween~ And as the time for NaNo approaches, THIS IS THE MONTH to figure out the environments and start to sketch out an outline-ish. At least I kind of know the number of hours in a day for the binary planets >.>

Oh and I should probably get my essays and short stories out of the way now. Pssshh, school work always disrupts my writing time.

But anyways, now for the fun question :D

QUESTION 7: Do you listen to music while you write? What kind? Are there any songs you like to relate/apply to your characters?

Yep! Always, every time, all the time, and sometimes it doesn't even make sense, but I love it nonetheless. Soundtracks are always a big thing for writers, but I don't like giving that as an answer because it's so vague. Instead of saying that, then, I'm going to delve in a little bit.

The composers I've listened to the most are Martin O'Donnell, Micheal Salvatori, Yoko Kanno, and Clint Mansell. And the one band that has music connected to pretty much everything I write is Nine Inch Nails--which is why they're my favorite. I've written soooo many stories while listening to their albums, and the atmosphere in their music has influenced me a lot. (...their...his...ughhh, Trent Reznor, y u gotta make pronouns so complicated).

In no particular order, here's a list of some story's musical influences.

>_> And there's a lot...

The Way Out Is Through

When the fall 2013 semester started, I was taking a workshop class that required me to turn in three stories, one of them for peer critique. While I was writing the latter, I was trying to find music for it to help me in the development. Coincidentally, NIN's Hesitation Marks had come out in August, so I listened to the whole album and managed to complete The Way Out Is Through in a matter of days. (Although weirdly enough, the actual song "The Way Out Is Through" has no influence on it).

I've said this often, but I don't pay close attention to lyrics. When they fit the scene or moment or general story I'm writing, it's often completely without any manipulation of mine or even initial awareness. When I wrote TWOIT I listened a lot to "Various Methods of Escape" and "I Would For You." And I know what the lyrical themes are. I can sing along and probably engage in some discussion if I focused on them, but when I was writing, the vocals worked as just another instrument. They invoked feeling and images separate of lyrical content, so I wrote what I saw.

The Way Out Is Through also had some Pink Floyd influence when I was still trying to figure out the concept--back when I thought it'd be a screenplay. "Us and Them" was the main song to launch the basic plot of the derelict spaceship, as well as "Speak to Me", "Breathe", "On the Run" and "Time"; all from The Dark Side of the Moon album.

Wayyyyy back when I was trying to think up of Kaede and Valentine--mistakenly seeing them as teenagers rather than my mechanic and pilot--they were my Hurricane Girls, and so I was listening to Billy Idol's "Cradle of Love" and Simple Mind's "Don't You Forget About Me."


As always, "The Four of Us Are Dying" has unofficially been Ataraxia's theme song. Trent Reznor had--and might still have--The Slip album up for free on the NIN website. And for a long time, that was the only music in my new computer. So I listened to it a bunch whilst I was in school or outside, away from internet connection, without Pandora or YouTube. A lot of the planning and early chapters of Ataraxia happened with the album, as well as some Johnny Cash songs, like "Redemption Day," "God's Gonna Cut You Down", and "Ain't no Grave."  In addition, "24" by Jem and the Dredd soundtrack contributed to a lot of writing--and Ma-Ma in the movie inspired Katya's character. Another early inspiration for Katya and some conflicts with Sonya came with the songs "Container Park" and "Escape Wavefold" from the Hanna soundtrack by The Chemical Brothers.


The reason I started writing Redemption was because of a story my father told me whilst listening to Billy Idol's Cyberpunk album, but the actual writing happened with the entire Halo and some tracks from the first and second Mass Effect soundtracks. Which is a bit weird, since those two are space operas with distinctly different kinds of music, but were connected to Redemption in my mind. The one Halo album that didn't influence it (excluding the Reclaimer Saga stuff because it wasn't out at the time) was the entire ODST soundtrack--but that went to bits of Ataraxia. Aside from Halo and ME, the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles soundtrack helped me a lot--especially since this show was one of the heavier influences on my novel. It launched me into writing a post-apocalyptic story.

Nikki and Hitomi's theme song was "Rise" by Origa, off the Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2nd GIG soundtrack. Also, the Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty theme song.

Oh, and there's some other companion songs I really loved, like the "Mad World" cover by Gary Jules, "Du Hast" by Rammstein, "We're in This Together" by NIN, and "I'm Coming Home" by Murder By Death. A bunch of rock tunes got integrated into the writing process.

The Band

Speaking of which, my first draft of The Band had a ton of references to rock music for obvious reasons. And like the true eight grade hipster I was, said references were mostly from old-ish rock o-e I used the song lists from Guitar Hero 3 as a starting point.

(Which, now that I think about it, makes me the opposite of a hipster. I'm suppose to be born with the knowledge of this music, after all, or just not get it from such a mainstream source).

The Night Kingdom

This one got written to the most common soundtrack/trailer music, so stuff from Two Steps From Hell, X-Ray Dog, and Immediate Music. Then some rewrites--along with Anne's story--involved some of Ramin Djawadi's music from Game of Thrones and the Avatar: The Last Airbender soundtrack.

Enkindled With Chains (novella) and associated characters

Dream had her own theme songs >.> Because I'm really lame like that. Her songs were "Blinding" by Florence and the Machine, "Between Two Points" by The Glitch Mob feat. Swan, and she shared a fight theme with Spirit, it being "Panic Switch" by Silversun Pickups.

With Legion, I always picture her when I listen to "Broken Gates", off the Mombasa Suite in the Halo 2 soundtrack. She had a fight scene I wrote with Ennio Morricone's "Ecstasy of Gold" from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. And since her conflict with Dragon was partially inspired by Kill Bill's Bride vs. Bill conflict, their theme is "The Lonely Shepard." Archangel doesn't have any personal theme songs, but his song with Dream is from a cover in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, called "Donald, Where's Your Trousers." (The show kind of has a strange, beautiful take on it).

All four of them shared Snow Patrol's "What if This Storm Ends" as a theme.

The novella had some hardcore theme songs >_> The obvious one is "Dragon Boy" from Joe Hisaishi's Spirited Away soundtrack, but I also listened to the Machine Vandals song "Black Dawn" (also a super early influence on Ataraxia) and "Lonely Dusk." I also used to listen to some Danny Elfman stuff while planning the world, the song "Sayuri's Theme" by John Williams from the Memoirs of a Geisha soundtrack, and How To Destroy Angels' "A Drowning."

Rosegrave and Whiskey

My two redheaded serial killers had influence from (surprise, surprise) Nine Inch Nails music. I don't really like "Closer" but it sort of connects to the two of them, along with NIN's covers of "Physical" and "Suck" and the originals "Sunspots", "With Teeth", and "Reptile." Other songs that remind me of R&W are "Summertime Killer", "Flower of Carnage", and "Goodnight Moon" from the Kill Bill soundtrack and "Conquest" by The White Stripes. And some music from The Motorcycle Diaries, since their story takes place in a fictionalized version of Quito, as well as inspired by other Latin American cities.

NaNoWriMo 2014 Project, early plannings for Amber and Miranda, short stories Her Singularity and The Companion Unit

Most of my stuff with Amber Jackson, Miranda, and anything involving the AI Isadora and Dr. Kathleen Monroe happened while listening to the Ghost in the Shell OSTs. From the movies: "Making of a Cyborg" and "Kugutsuuta ura mite chiru." From the show: "Dear John" and "Torukia". It also got some Halo and ME stuff. Halo Reach's "Birth of A Spartan" and the ending theme of the first Mass Effect, "M4 (Part II)" by the Faunts. Plus some of Hiroyuki Sawano's stuff.

Oh, oh, oh, and for my A.I's, right now, their combined theme song is "Covenant Dance", from the Halo: Combat Evolved soundtrack.

Anne's story had a lot of planning done with Hans Zimmer's Man of Steel soundtrack, the Mausoleum Suite from Halo 2, and "Binary Sunset" by John Williams. Also, some of the writing was done with the Skyrim soundtrack, especially the main theme, and--as mentioned above--the GOT and Avatar: TLA music.

Millennium Girl
This one got written with Hiroyuki Sawano's Attack on Titan soundtrack o-e Even though it's all epic and awesome and grand, and MG is kind of a small urban fantasy story, it still fit in my head >> It was such a big influence, I gave Yuki the composer's surname as an homage.

Now because I finished this one not too long ago, I can just give you a list >_> Beware it might feel like it's all over the place, but a lot of it either inspired or helped in the writing of a bunch of scenes. In no particular order,
  • All of the Attack on Titan/Shingeki no Kyojin OST
    • Mostly these:
      • The Reluctant Heroes
      • EMA
      • DOA
      • Vogel im Kafig
      • Bauklötze
  • The Cure - Burn*
  • Nine Inch Nails - Dead Souls* (cover)
    • You know what, let's just do a sublist of this:
      • The Day The Whole World Went Away
      • Just Like You Imagined
      • The Hand That Feeds
      • Every Day Is Exactly the Same
      • The Fragile
        • (both the Still and regular version)
  • Kill Bill OST - About Her
  • Gustavo Cerati - Traccion a sangre
  • Alice Smith - She
    • (Wendy's theme.)
  • Enrique Bunbury - SalomĂ©
  • Phosphorescent - Song for Zula
  • London Grammar - Devil Inside (cover)
  • Beyond Two Souls OST
    • Jodie's Theme
    • My Imaginary Friend
  • Berserk OST
    • Gattsu
    • Behelit
  • The Fountain OST
    • Holy Dread!
    • Together We Will Forever
    • Stay With Me
    • The Last Man
  • Game of Thrones OST - Love in the Eyes
  • Princess Mononoke OST
    • Mononoke Hime theme 
    • The Legend of Ashitaka
  • Red Dead Redemption OST - Far Away
  • Fever Ray - If I Had A Heart
  • Zack Hemsey
    • This is Our Legacy
    • Vengeance
  • Civil Twilight - Letters From The Sky
...this was suppose to be a short, summary post.


Oh god. I still could add so much to the individual categories and I could go into so much detail of the specific song influences in the Halo tracks, and how some songs I heard from trailers, and how much I've added to the NaNo novel's playlist right now, more T_T

Ahem. There's some useless shit you never needed to know.

Shows how obsessive I am about this kind of thing :P

PS: I hope you didn't take a shot every time I said "soundtrack".'d be so dead right now. I avoided pointing out just how many of these songs overlap because this post doesn't need to be twice as long. It's already too much @_@ Oh gawd.

*Both of these I heard on The Crow soundtrack (take another shot).

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