Storytelling Soundtracks

I just love listening to music. Soundtracks, music, scores! It all can make a big difference in a movie. Can you imagine a fight scene without the music added to it? It’d be a little awkward to just listen to grunts, heavy breathing, and poorly executed fake hits and falls. Or even the words to a song causing goosebumps to a climactic scene? Scores are personally my favorite. I could listen to them all the time. That is just pure music getting you into a scene! They can sound pretty incredible!

How could I be talking about soundtracks for a book? You can’t even hear the music. It’s true, but music sure can have a way of inspiring scenes and helping me write them. When I get in a brain funk, I love listening to music to help the scene develop. Each scene really can have a song that just helps develop the emotions. It helps bring the scenes to life! I’m going to take you through what I would consider the “soundtracks” of my books.

Note: These come off as vague descriptions as to try and not spoil!

There is a song that is considered the overall theme for Pending Return. The original version from their self-titled album, The End of the Dream (Evanescence). Right away, the first couple verses describe the book. If you haven’t read the book, you may not understand entirely why. I personally picture the opening scenes to this song if it were ever a movie.

“I found a grave, brushed off the face, felt your light and I remember why I know this place. I found a bird, closing her eyes one last time, and I wonder if she dreamed like me.”
-The End of the Dream, Evanescence

Some parts of the song, but more specifically the bridge, are a little nudge towards a specific character.

“I will find a way even without wings.”
-The End of the Dream, Evanescence

If I ever felt stuck and needed the push, The End of the Dream was good at reminding me what it all was going to come down to.

This next song could be used in multiple scenes for Pending Return. Honestly, any time that Mitch has a confrontation with Ken (face-to-face or mentally), or argued with anyone about Ken, you could imagine the song Everybody’s Fool (Evanescence) beginning to play. Mitch was trying so hard to get someone to believe him and his accusations towards Ken. Unfortunately, he was realizing it wasn’t that easy to prove, especially in the legal standpoint.

“You know you’ve got everybody fooled.”
-Everybody’s Fool, Evanescence

If there was a song to describe if Steve were to ever confront Ken and finally give it to him, it’d be Call Me When You’re Sober (Evanescence). There was never a scene in the book when Steve actually confronts Ken. Steve wouldn’t do that anyway. He didn’t want to risk being on Ken’s bad side, so he could only imagine what he would ever tell Ken if he knew there wouldn’t be any repercussions later.

“Couldn’t take the blame, sick with shame.”
-Call Me When You’re Sober, Evanescence

Lastly, the song that would wrap up all of Mitch’s thoughts and emotions as he tries to come to terms with everything would be Speak To Me (Amy Lee). There’s a lot of lyrics I could use for example, because the entire song is simply beautiful. Just go listen to the song if you’ve read the book already. It’s so wonderfully done. It would certainly be used in the ending scenes or closing credits of a film edition to Pending Return.

“Hear me call your name. Just speak, speak to me.”
-Speak To Me, Evanescence

There really could be other songs, but these were the main ones that really help tell the story!

Now let’s move to the next novel. First of all, I FINALLY came up with a title. It took forever and I must have gone through at least fifty ideas as I played around with words. My next novel, coming this summer, is going to be titled Those Glass Letters. Now, this novel has a lot more songs of inspiration. After all, it is a longer story and has more complexity to it. No spoilers here, because no one’s had a chance to read it. It’ll be vague statements for these songs. To begin, I would say there are two songs that could be considered the themes of the story. Those would be Missing (Evanescence) and Love Wins (Carrie Underwood).

“You won’t cry for my absence, I know. You forgot me long ago.”
-Missing, Evanescence

“The tears and the sadness, the pain and the hate, the struggle, this madness, will all fade away.”
-Love Wins, Carrie Underwood

Missing is the song that is the turning point of the story. It creates a big climax. Love Wins brings a lot of things together towards the end of the story. Go listen to Love Wins if you have a chance. It’s moving. Carrie Underwood is good at those types of songs!

Other songs that pay some tribute to the book…The Only One (Evanescence) just recently became part of the soundtrack list. It sort of describes a mental argument the main character has with himself throughout most of the story.

“And you’re right, I don’t deserve.”
The Only One, Evanescence

Slipped Away (Avril Lavigne) simply is about one of the characters letting hate win and the main character can’t seem to get him to get out of it. Jar of Hearts (Christina Perri) is someone saying to leave them alone and that they’re done.

“There you go, somewhere you’re not coming back.”
-Slipped Away, Avril Lavigne

“Don’t come back for me. Don’t come back at all.”
-Jar Of Hearts, Christina Perri

Lost In Paradise (Evanescence) would be the scene right after Missing (Evanescence).

“One day we won’t feel this pain anymore.”
-Lost In Paradise, Evanescence

This one by Taylor Swift also got added to the soundtrack recently, because the scene itself just got added. Crazy how it all works!

“For the first time what’s past is past.”
-Begin Again, Taylor Swift

And finally, Imperfection (Evanescence) would be the closing credits.

“This will not be our ending. We are alive, we are alive!”
-Imperfection, Evanescence

It seems like a lot of songs, but they all played a big part in a scene in the story. Once you read the book, you may be able to point out where you think the songs play a part. For now, go give these songs listen!

What are some of your favorite movie soundtracks???

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the songs listed above. I did not write any of the lyrics. They belong to the rightful artists as listed next to the song title.

-S.A. Gensch

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