This month’s topic is: What does your story/character(s) sound like?
I was preceded in this month’s Absolute Write blog chain by Stefanie Gaither and will be followed by xcomplex. The entire list of participants concludes this post. Give them all a read; great stuff to be found there.
I love this topic because I often associate music with my story lines and characters. Anyone who’s clicked around my blog has probably stumbled upon music for my WIP’s and characters (see my Novels in Progress tab and sub tabs for My Fair Vampire music, and All’s Fair in Love and War music). Some evoke a mood, others I picked for their lyrics, still others had a video that made the association for me. Hearing is a powerful sense, right up there with sight which is, of course, critical to writers. Stories began orally then in turn became songs long before they were carved into stone or put to paper via quill or pen or computer.
That’s why when book trailers became the rage, I embraced the idea and said “Bring it!” I’ve made one book trailer so far which is buried in this blog somewhere. Extra credit points if you find it. Ha! I do not claim that it’s good nor could it ever be used commercially because I borrowed the music and many of the pictures so legally couldn’t do so.
I know many people claim that a good book trailer really does nothing to increase sales but a bad book trailer can hurt sales. I don’t necessarily see it as a marketing ploy but as another means of conveying a mood or impression either before or after the book has been read. Radical, I know. I spent more time on the music to my book trailer than the text (though you can probably tell). Music is as powerful as words on a page or images on a screen. That’s why I am also a fan of movie soundtracks.
The younger bunch may not remember this so much but I remember when the first Alien movie came out. A droning of repetitive tones, almost annoying, played throughout the commercial until you got to the tagline, “In space no one can hear you scream”. I still vividly remember that trailer (and the movie too) and remember thinking, “uh-uh, you ain’t gettin’ me in the theatre to watch that!” It was unnerving and creepy and did a killer job preparing the audience for the nightmarish sense of dread that was the film itself.
When a movie is made of my novel or novels, Thomas Newman is my pick to score it. His work on Lemony Snickets, Six Feet Under, American Beauty, Shawshank Redemption and many others all have his signature style to them, a blend of orchestra and synthesizer, unusual percussion and wonderful melodies. In my fantasies, when I walk up the stage to accept my Academy Award for Best Screenplay Adaptation, it will be to the tune of one of his compositions. See, even my dreams have musical accompaniment.
The AW May Musical Blog Chain’s Fantabulous Links Are:
Aheïla: http://thewriteaholicblog.wordpress.com/ and direct link to my blog chain’s post
Stefanie Gaither: http://stefanie-gaither.blogspot.com/ and direct link to the blog chain’s post
AuburnAssassin: https://clairegillian.wordpress.com/ and direct link to her post
xcomplex: http://arielemerald.blogspot.com and direct link to her post
Proach: http://everythinghistorical.wordpress.com and direct link to her post
8thSamurai: http://digitalisdreaming.blogspot.com/ and direct link to her post
vfury: http://helencorcoran.wordpress.com and direct link to her post
CScottMorris: http://cscottmorrisbooks.com/ and direct link to his post
Hayley E. Lavik: http://hayleyelavik.blogspot.com and direct link to her post
FreshHell: http://freshhell.wordpress.com and direct link to her post
LadyMage: http://www.katherinegilraine.com and direct link to her post
DavidZahir: http://zahirblue.blogspot.com/ and direct link to his post
Aimée Laine: http://www.aimeelaine.com/writing/blog/ and direct link to her post
egoodlett: http://wordlarceny.blogspot.com/ and direct link to her post
Semmie: http://semmie.wordpress.com and direct link to her post
Sbclark: http://sonyaclark.blogspot.com/ and direct link to her post
Razibahmed: http://write-translate.blogspot.com/ and direct link to his post
ArcticFox: http://picaresqueblog.blogspot.com/ and direct link to her post
Lilain: http://abigailschmidt.blogspot.com/ and direct link to her post
Truelyana: http://expressiveworld.com/ and direct link to her post
CowgirlPoet: http://frontnotes.blogspot.com/ and direct link to her post
defyalllogic:http://tavialewis.com/hyperbolicallyspeaking/ and direct link to her post
IrishAnnie: http://superpenpower.blogspot.com and direct link to her post
Alpha Echo: http://writersramblings81.blogspot.com/
How astounding! My browser at long last allowed me to see your blog! I’ve been trying for months! Yay!
And this was something I didn’t expect–deciding who would “score” your work if made into film. Love these surprises!
I have become obsessed with book trailers (I stalk youtube for new ones. Not kidding. Sigh), but you did a really great job here putting into words why they’re so interesting, I think. You’re right, they set a mood/tone for the book in a way that a simple back-cover blurb or written review can’t. Plus they are so fun and prettiful 😀
Nice! I really like your take on the subject. Scoring a book trailer or a movie is a very particular craft within the art of music. It interesting that you chose to explore that.
Book trailers are new to me. One more thing to add to my list of research projects.
Cool! I have seen a few book trailers and think they are a pretty cool concept!
I love, love, love soundtracks! They are the best for getting in-the-mood for writing and I can’t write without them, well, that and metal and a few hipster bands. I’m obsessed with Michael Giacchino (composer of Lost) and Hans Zimmer.
Great post, AuburnAssassin. Its always great to have a sound track for your book. I wish I could say the same for my book, ‘Day of Revenge’. I’m still working on that.
I can’t wait to hear your music.
Auburn! I love your approach to the topic of music! I’m unfamiliar with book trailers, so you’ve given me much to think about.
I also really love the feel of your blog. Just wanted to say. 🙂
Book trailers are very new to me. I think I would make one, but it’s like…where to even start? Or what to pick for it?
And I agree: music is a LOT more powerful than the words to the trailer. I also find this same thing applies to movie trailers; some of the most enticing ones I saw for film were NOT the official releases.
David–finally, eh!! Glad whatever kink there was got worked out.
Ellen–I seek them out too. I like the ones that are more abstract.
Aheila–I think music and storytelling are so intricately linked but it’s nice to hear about those subtle differences of how.
Freshhell–Yes, go find some on YouTube. There’s one that I wish I could remember the name of but it’s professionally done and has a whole series of 3-D paper cutouts.
Danielle–I love ’em too, even the ones done by us amateurs.
Abby–Hans Zimmer is awesome!
Katherine–After I saw a few trailers, I got a concept in my head but it’s a lot like writing queries–how do you boil a whole book down to less than 2 minutes and what do show, play and write?
I’ve seen the book trailer. 🙂 He he he. 🙂 When you walk up to accept your Academy Award, you better have saved me a seat! 😉
I used to buy a lot of movie soundtracks because I loved all the quirky songs you could find on them.
Another movie with a soundtrack similar to how you describe the music in Alien is Dark Knight. There’s so much tension in that music, it’s as unsettling as the Joker himself.
Great post. Now I want to go dig out my old Pulp Fiction soundtrack.
Cool take on the AW subject! I think you did a great job describing your character’s internal world with music 🙂
It is wonderful to see you finding importance in your book trailer, because like every expression there is meaning in everything. Every creation is very much a strong reflection of what something is truly about, so kudos for bringing that out in your book trailer. 🙂
Soundtracks are marvelous listening material! And I couldn’t agree more about a book trailer – and the music is so essential.
(Yay for being a Snicket fan!)
I love that you went with a score rather than “songs”!
Nice choice of Thomas Newman!
I’ve heard of book trailers, but if I’ve seen any, I don’t think I realized that was what it was called. I guess those commercials for Dan Brown and Nora Roberts? A few others? Anyway, I wasn’t positive what they are, but now you have me curious to learn more. When I have more time, I’ll have to find yours. 🙂
I’ve never even heard of a book trailer. I’m off to do some research!
Nice music list for My Fair Vampire. I especially like the Vangelis song.
And your PURE trailer is cool, too… 🙂
I don’t really have anything substantial to add, but I do agree that the music for Six Feet Under was great.
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