*Note, while I will try to avoid major spoilers, I sometimes won't be able to help it.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Writing and the Inspiration of Music: My Playlist While Writing Never Trust a Happy Song

Music inspires me and puts me in the right emotional zone for telling a story. How magical music is, with the power to communicate an entire message with only a minor key and a couple of notes! Once I’ve listened to the first few seconds of a song, I often know whether the song is going to make me feel sad, wistful, excited, or happy – before the first line of lyrics has even been sung. All of that just comes from the music. Magical, right?

But back to writing. Creating this post amuses me because my book’s title is Never Trust a Happy Song, and yet – and I hope this doesn’t disappoint you – the book itself has nothing to do with music. The “happy song” element is a metaphor, referring to the difference between the face we show to the world and how we feel inside. On the surface, someone may be smiling and bubbly about life, while within they twist and writhe in a cocoon of depressing thoughts. A song’s lyrics may profess happiness, while the succession of notes between verse and chorus scream of shaky confidence, fear, and loneliness. Writing and music share the magical ability to house and honor these multiple conflicting emotional dimensions. The following ten songs match this musical criteria, and helped inspire me while I wrote Never Trust a Happy Song:

My number one source of inspiration. The singing that begins at 3:23 perfectly combines happiness and melancholy. In most scenes in the book, this song was playing in my head.

This song’s confession that people sometimes screw up is presented in a delightfully cheery way.

This is a fun one (Friday Night Lights, anyone?). As I wrote, I would snap along.

This song is hauntingly beautiful. As morbid as it might sound, I was fascinated with the idea of “dead hearts” as I was writing Never Trust a Happy Song, and thought a lot about how we might be numbing ourselves to get through life.

I don’t mean to have any spoilers, but this was Grace’s theme song. If you read the book, you’ll understand.

This song might have been as much for me, the nervous writer, as for the characters. But Cassidy certainly needs a soothing song like this in her life. (Too bad she doesn’t like music!)

This song’s composition is so amazingly layered – a drum beat, and then a repetitive note plunked on a piano, with the melody layered on top of that, and then the lyrics! I hear this song in my head whenever Cassidy is eating dinner with the Harpers.

Sigur Ros’s music is so full of emotion. This song gives me a feeling of happily working through hardship. I didn’t know it at the time I was writing the book, but the song’s title is Icelandic for “hopping into puddles,” which is so perfect for Grace! My listening to this song was clearly fate.

For me, this song is about the lyrics. Sometimes life is going to feel like a game of sink or swim. And this is where Cassidy would proudly stick out her chest and insist that she refuses to sink.

I hear Cassidy and Likith in this song. To me, the music sounds like a person racing through life, rarely pausing to take a breath and look around, and never realizing how important those moments are.

Website/Blog: nataliebina.tumblr.com

Author Bio:

Natalie Bina is a writer and lover of words who finds daily life incredibly fascinating. She is endlessly intrigued by the joys and trials of adolescent life and hopes to continue expressing them in stories. When not writing, she enjoys singing, dancing, acting, and baking a wide variety of sweet treats. She is currently attending Wesleyan University. 

Pre-order Links:
The ebook is now available for pre-order through Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Amazon! It is currently only $1.99, but that is for a limited time only! When it is released on March 14th, 2015, the price will go up to $2.99. All of the pre-order links can be found on my Bublish author profile. 

My Bublish profile (Which contains all of the buy links): https://www.bublish.com/author/view/4652

1 comment:

  1. Ahh, seeing Ellie Goulding on this made my heart leap. I love all her music, she's such a brilliant artist! Also- you listen to Sigur Rós?! Another amazing band, great for writing. I love the cover of the novel by the way. Good luck!!

    Jen @ The Bookavid


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