Non-Fiction, Writing Tips

The Soundtrack To Your Book

I always find it best to write with background music. Often in the past I have just listened to whatever I have been feeling like listening too. Over time however I discovered themes and styles that brought out different ways of viewing a certain situation in the text.

This grew into a format for me. The soundtrack to my book (or story). I like to assemble soundtracks before I begin writing my book so I can just wake up turn on whatever soundtrack I have assembled and listen to it as I am writing.

I generally try to organize it to very general types. For An End To All You Know, it is Positive, Negative, Fear Inducing, and Action. Since this book is such a strange one the positive songs are not like happy music always but rather something for positive scenes. Negative does not mean sad scenes either it is generally the feeling I want induced as Primina wanders the landscape that I have created.

The styles of music I like to use mix from a range but I like to use music I do not understand the lyrics to. The Neir OST is perfect for that because it literally has nonsense lyrics. Instrumentals also work to that end as well. Classical music is normally good too and fits any genre. However, if you have a style of story you want and you want a certain feeling for it, seek out music that gives you the images in mind you want.

For some scenes it may be white noise you want or some other kind of ambience. Maybe your scene requires Harsh Noise genre music, especially if it is a domestic abuse scene you are writing. Let’s face it if you write for Lifetime Channel or in the woman’s literature scene you are going to run into scenes like that. Though, I would imagine the majority of those writers have first hand knowledge and can refer to their own experiences for that. I gladly do not have any, and I plan to keep it that way. So I use music to bring about those experiences and I know I personally can see someones mind falling to pieces when I listen to that kind of jarring nonsense. So in that it has a purpose. Although anyone with sound mind would not listen to that ear cancer.

So don’t be afraid to listen to music you would never listen to otherwise to bring about certain emotions or instill images. I am relying on some mechanical ambient sounds for this book. Songs that are experimental with use of odd sounds. Soundtracks and artist like Silent Hill, Drakengard, Neir, Saya No Uta, False Wanderer, Shin Contra, Splatterhouse, わたしのココ, Motoro Faam, Arai Tasuku, Blue Gender, The Big O, Dead Can Dance and S Core.

So as you can see taking music from a variety of places makes for a full and rich supply of music to really play with those mind machines… I mean brain, workings. Though it is important not to live in those dreamlands. Lest you get caught up in a cosmic horror of your own creation and meet the Yellow King or some other elder thing.

Writing Tips

Writing Tip: Finding Your Inspirations

Perhaps most important when writing is to find your inspirations while you are outlining. I will discuss this by using Lyorta, Blue Ash Crisis, and An End To All You Know.

Each one has a different feel and theme to them. Lyorta is a heroic fantasy sci fi western (I will explain that last genre later). The imagery I look at is a lot of fantasy artwork and a lot of sci fi artwork. The themes are lighter, the music I listen to is a blend of classical, video game music like Drakengard or Falcom games, and movie scores from productions like Lord Of The Ring, Vikings, and anything Yoko Kanno produced. The films I watched when designing Lyorta were classic animes like Record of Lodoss War and Nasicaa. Actually, Nasicaa is a huge inspiration for me anyway but I will talk about that later.

With Blue Ash Crisis, the themes were spooky and more modern. So naturally I was attracted to soundtracks scores like Blade Runner (Vangelis did a great job on that.) Spawn the movie, New Retrowave, some cyberpunk animes like Genocyber. The artwork I looked at was more modern stuff, traditional 80s 90s style anime also became a huge inspiration. Originally the Sailor Moon series and Card Captors Sakura were very important in its early nativity. These elements laid a foundation that worked well for me when designing everything.

The inspirations for An End To All You Know need to bring out thoughts and feelings of utter horror. I watched some of the most grotesque body horror films I could find and read a lot of ero guro works to gather a semblance of describing the things I will need to describe. This book is not ero guro btw, it’s not anything like that. However, elements of that concept are including. If anyone is wondering what it is, it is best not to search for it because there are two categories. One is the more tame stuff about body horror and nonsensical gore, think Junji Ito, then there is the other branch is a fetishist version of hentai based around wicked evil dismemberment. Ito’s work is genius in the horror genre. I took great inspiration from his works. However not the style of story, the aesthetics.

I also had to watch robo cop a few times and Terminator along with other cybernetic heavy animes. Movies like Re-Animator also inspire me. Hellibor Winters in some ways is an anti Dr. West.

Music brought me into borderlines of things that might not be considered music. My inspirations lay in Anti-Honey, False Wanderer, Motoro Faam, O.lamm, The PS2 Contra Albums, S Core, Yume Nikki’s Soundtracks, and my beloved わたしのココ which is like a post apocalyptic AI. All together the imagery comes together. 因果糸 from わたしのココ lets me watch the horizons of the world the wavering heat over the piles of scorched bone.
There is a few artists in particular that inspire my work but because of the content of their work I won’t be sharing it. I don’t want to lead people into distasteful things which a few of them create alongside their more brilliant styles of work. The ones I will mention though are Gia, Guru, Keith Thompson, and a bunch of other images.

Basically what I am saying is take in a plethora of things to inspire you. Anything that grows the strand of your writing is beneficial. There is a fine line that must be discussed. There is nothing wrong with taking inspiration but don’t copy it outright. There are vast infinitives of ideas waiting to be dreamed. Let’s stay forward and press on to create and craft something original we can call our own. It feels better in the long run.

Here are a few examples of my own artwork which shows my mindset for this next book.