Friday, January 15, 2010

Character Songs

Right now i'm in the play 'Much Ado About Nothing.' I'm playing Verges, Dogberry's little sidekick. My director had us find a song that epitomizes our character. It was much more difficult then I thought it would be, but also more enlightening. It really helped me access a deeper side of my character, even though it is Verges, who probably doesn't really have a deep personality :-)

Anyway, I thought this could effectively and beneficially be applied to creative writing. For main characters in particular, and any other characters you're having a hard time grasping, finding a song (or for main characters, maybe two or three) that just clicks with them may give you the inspiration you need. It will give you a certain feeling or aura about that character, and I know that for me that's often how I can most successfully get to know a character. Especially complex main characters who have complicated personality traits; it takes more then just a personality checklist, and often a song is just the thing to help you capture what you're trying to capture.

Have you ever done this? What songs have helped you? Do you think this could actually work, or do you think it would be distracting?

Sarah Allen


  1. Found you on Twitter and clicked through because *YES!* I've done this. It is *so* useful and amazing.

    In fact since that time (when I admitted to myself this wasn't a waste of time and become more purposeful in my song-collecting) I've made whole playlists for the major characters in my current novel and started lists for my other novels that wait "in the wings."

    If you find a useful song, *do* hang on to it.

  2. Thanks! Twitter is an awesome tool.

    And thanks for your great comments! I hadn't thought of making a whole playlist, but that makes sense; if you want your main characters to be as real as they can be, then they're going to need a lot of songs to explain them :-)

    Good luck with all the writing!


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