The great Jennifer Crusie has a thing about making collages for your WIP. Presumably this is in order to help generate ideas, solidify character images, basically just give your novel form. (I'm not entirely sure on all her reasons because I've missed some stuff, but that's my take on it.) She's posted pictures of her collages and let me tell you, some of them are elaborate enough to just be beyond me. I'm already having to pep talk myself into writing, which mostly goes along the lines of "You don't have to be Nora Roberts or Jenny Crusie on your first try. Even they wrote lousy books in their early years. It's a process. Just write something," and then there's "Just 'cause no one else has come up with the idea doesn't make it stupid...it's original!" I don't think I could also motivate myself into arts and crafts hour to manifest my novel in artistic form. Especially considering my craft-impaired DNA. Although I can cut up a magazine with the best of them (a handy college-generated talent).
So I've set aside Jenny's superior advice for the time being in this instance.
One other thing she mentions about her creative process that I am definitely on board with is a play list for your character(s). My play list runs more towards relating to themes from the entire novel rather than just the main character, but there are definitely specific heroine and hero related tracks in the mix. That said, I believe it's impossible to remove yourself entirely from such an exercise - I'm not likely to include tracks that I hate, though I would if I felt it necessary. Ergo, many of the artists below will come as no surprise to many of you (what kind of play list would it be without Van the Man and Bono somewhere in the mix?) But I find them still to be very appropriate, with themes of trust, possession, holding on through rough times, sex, strength, violence, separation, loneliness, abandonment, redemption, love, rebuilding, hardening, searching for who is left after loosing a large part of your inner self, surviving, and coming out on the other side of something bad as someone better. Sometimes it's not the lyrics that apply, but the music itself and the sensations that listening to it evokes. I know it all sounds depressing when it's laid out like that, but it's not.
When I was choosing interval music for the one-woman play I did at the end of my senior year at college, I found that the music I'd been listening to in the months previous eerily applied to the play's themes as well. Such seems to be the case here.
Here then for your listening pleasure is Bronwyn's Mix:
Possession - Sarah Mclachlan
If You Want Me - Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova
I'll Be Your Lover Too - Van Morrison
Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us - Robert Plant & Allison Krause
Caledonia - North Sea Gas [This is a Dougie Maclean song but itunes doesn't have Dougie's version of it.]
Do What You Have To Do - Sarah McLachlan
Strong Enough - Sheryl Crow Live w/The Dixie Chicks
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me - U2
Trampled Rose - Robert Plant & Allison Krause
All The Way Down - Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova
La Belle Dame San Regrets - Sting
Short Skirt, Long Jacket - Cake
Hold On - Sarah McLachlan
If Ya Wanna Be Bad, Ya Gotta Be Good - Bryan Adams MTV Live & Unplugged
Reflejo De Luna - El Alacran
And The Healing Has Begun - Glen Hansard