Thursday, 8 November 2007
Music and Multi-Tasking
To follow on from David's post:
I'm one of those authors who has to write to music. What I can't work out is whether the genre I'm writing in determines what music I listen to, or if the music determines the genre.
I usually have a rough idea of what genre a piece will fit into before I start writing it (although occasionally stories can surprise me), and since I'm usually working on four or five things at once, each one has a different type of paper, different pen, different mind-set, and different type of music. One has to keep track of these things somehow.
For instance, right now I'm writing a new crime novel, a science fiction novel (a joint project with my rat-buddy Neil Ayres), a comic short story and a serious fantasy short story. Here's how that divides up for me:
Green A4 ring-bound exercise pad
Orange fountain pen
Serious stuff. I'll have my committed face on.
Science Fiction Novel
Narrow-lined A4 pad with front page ripped off
Silver ball point pen
Classical music, usually Russian composers
Not to be taken seriously: it's about aliens, after all.
Comic short story
Straight on to the computer
No pen necessary
A bit of Jazz, probably Miles Davis
Interestingly, I usually write my comic stuff when I'm feeling a bit low.
Fantasy short story
The small marble-effect book on my bedside table
I have to be tired, but not too tired - it is next to the bed, after all.
So, for me, music is an important part of the separation of projects.
Occasionally, with past projects and in certain sections, one song has stuck and demanded to be played over and over. For instance, for Three Things About Me, Janis Joplin's 'Me and Bobby McGee' was firmly wedged in there, and actually made it into the book. But Light Reading was all about Rimsky Korsakov's Scherezade. Don't ask me why. No idea.