Tag Archives: Bitterness

Theme Songs

Late last year, I was on a panel with Amanda Havard at the Southern Festival of the Book.  We got to talking about music and the role that it is playing in our writing.   Amanda is very influenced by music; she talked about how she could tap into the emotion of each of scene in her novel because that scene has a soundtrack.   I use music too, but in a different way.

Music helps me to get into the emotions that a particular character is experiencing in a particular moment.  This comes in handy when I am trying to convey an emotion or an emotional depth that is completely foreign to me.  Bailey, one of the characters who will take an central role in Posers:  A Shifters Novel  (oh, by the way, have I mentioned that the second novel is titled Posers?  You heard it here first), is bitter in a way that I could not quite taste.  Don’t get me wrong, I have been bitter before (by all accounts, I might be bitter right now even as I type this), but Bailey’s bitterness is off the charts.

As I started to get more into her character, I realized I knew why she was bitter, but there was something about her bitterness that I could not quite comprehend despite my own experiences.  Consequently, a lot of her scenes were falling a little flat to  me.  They felt tone-deaf–if you will.   It was then that I went to my musical arsenal, trying to think about music that would help me understand the depth of her rancor and I came up with Bush–specifically “Mouth”.

Now, there is a lot of angry music out there, but bitterness is different from anger.  Bitterness is something that you feel and taste.  For me, Bush taps into the taste of bitterness in a way that other angry music doesn’t, and “Mouth” really helped me to slip under Bailey’s skin for a minute and see things through her eyes.  Not just “Mouth,” I also like “Machinehead” and “Comedown”.

So, today is theme song day.   All day, on Twitter, (follow me @ShiftersNovels) I will be posting the theme songs for the major characters of Posers:  A Shifters Novel.  Some of the characters, Nate for instance, have multiple theme songs.  Others have none.  Right now, I am trying to figure out Charlie;  I am tweaking a few of her scenes and I am thinking that a theme song might help me crystallize this girl.  On the surface, she seems naive and a little oblivious but there is a lot going on beneath that is just waiting to bubble up(any thoughts).

The theme songs don’t stay the same either.  Nate’s theme songs for Posers are keyed to what happens to him in this novel.  For Book III, he will be a different person entirely and in need of new music.  There will be some overlap.

Leave your recommendations about other bitter music.  I am always looking for something else to add to Bailey’s soundtrack.

Nate’s Theme Songs

Dare You to Move“–Switchfoot; “Swagga Like Us“–Jay-Z et. al.

Charlie’s Theme Songs

Lyrically: “I’m Just A Girl”– No Doubt;  Melodically: “Fidelity“–Regina Spektor;  “Airplanes”–B. o. B.


Easy“–Fuel; “Seeing Red“–Chevelle

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