I can hear an old song on the radio and in most cases know exactly where I was and what I was doing while the song played. The memory is not always, or even often, about the first time I heard the sang, but just one time. There is always that one feeling, that one moment. A girlfriend, a restaurant, a job. Music plays (pun intended) into a lot of my life. I’ve written poems based on a lyric. And, I’ve written a novel based on a song.
So, there are often times while writing a novel where I’ll play a particular song or group of songs during the time. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t listen to music while writing. It’s all the time before and after my writing schedule where I’ll play music, although I do know a lot of writers who claim to have a “play list” for certain novels.
Having said all this, I’ll admit that for some novels there is no music. There is silence, deep and abiding. Sometimes I want nothing to creep into a novel but what the characters bring to it—as little from my world as possible. I’ll also admit that just one song can give me an idea for a series of poems or short stories. I never know what to expect.
And, now come the deeper truth: other books will influence one of my books, or guide me to one I have to write. An essay can suggest a poem or novel. A painting can create a character inside my head, as can an overheard conversation, a line from a movie, and any number of other distractions.
I suppose what all this means is that the world can’t help but creep into our lives. Why would we assume it doesn’t do the same with our writing? I say let the world in, use it, create around it and from it, and live it fully.
Terry Persun writes in many genres, including historical fiction, mainstream, literary, and science fiction/fantasy. He is a Pushcart nominee. His latest poetry collection is “And Now This”. His novels, “Wolf’s Rite” and “Cathedral of Dreams” were ForeWord magazine Book of the Year finalists in the science fiction category, and his novel “Sweet Song” won a Silver IPPY Award. His latest science fiction space opera is, “Hear No Evil”, his latest fantasy is “Doublesight”, his latest mainstream/literary novel is “Ten Months in Wonderland”.