Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Waiting For The End

Dude, there is nothing I like better than writing and editing to music. If I hear the perfect song, I can listen to that sucker on repeat for hours. Just ask my kids.

For editing my last project, my song was "The Herald Song" by Ke$ha. It's not one of her more-known, you know, techno thingies, but it's full of angst. And so was my project, so it was perfect.

For this new project I'm starting, my new fave is "Waiting for the End" by Linkin Park. The angst?

Through the roof.

Here's the proof:

We say Yeah!
With fists flying up in the air
Like we're holding onto something
That's invisible there,
(I love this image of holding on to something invisible, unable to let go)
'Cause we're living at the mercy of
The pain and the fear
(oh, the angst)

I know what it takes to move on,
(do you??)
I know how it feels to lie,
(powerful feeling)
All I wanna do
Is trade this life for something new
Holding on to what I haven't got
(chillz. I haz them.)

What was left when that fire was gone?
I thought it felt right but that right was wrong
(who hasn't felt this? Every runner-up on The Bachelor, that's for sure.)
All caught up in the eye of the storm
And trying to figure out what it's like moving on
(and here's the real angst)
And I don't even know what kind of things I've said
My mouth kept moving and my mind went dead
So, picking up the pieces, now where to begin?
The hardest part of ending is starting again.

And dude, that's it. That's life. Relationships. Writing. Starting a new job. Everything.

The hardest part of ending is starting again.

Every time I hear this song, I can't help but think of my MC and the terrible things I'm about to do to them. The lyrics, the music, everything, just fits. It's "the one." Chill-worthy.

Have you ever just heard a song and gotten chills? Like, "This. THIS is it!"What song is it? What is it about that song makes it so perfect for your project?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Good song for angst!
Stream of Passion's "Street Spirit" was Byron's devastating moment.

Huntress said...

Oh, my. Songs that speak to me and scream, Yes, that is the MC?

Bad Company by Five Finger Death Punch

"Bad company, I can’t deny
Bad, bad company until the day I die."

And Wicked Game by Chris Isaak "No, I don’t want to fall in love."
"What a wicked game to play, to make me feel this way."

Kristine Asselin said...

Great post, Elana! Firework by Katy Perry made me cry the first time I saw the video and really listened to the words.

"Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
Drifting through the wind
Wanting to start again

Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
Like a house of cards
One blow from caving in

Do you ever feel already buried deep
Six feet under scream
But no one seems to hear a thing

Do you know that there's still a chance for you
Cause there's a spark in you

You just gotta ignite the light
And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the Fourth of July.
'Cause baby you're a Firework."

Christine Danek said...

OMG I was going to write a post about this. Songs that give you chills. I have so many. My one MS I have two that everytime I hear them, I get goosebumps and I zone out because I can see my characters so clearly.
Letters from the Sky by Civil Twilight

Panic Switch by Silversun Pickups.

I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it.

I love when music can fully let me see the characters.

Theresa Milstein said...

Very angsty song. Oh no! What are you doing to your characters?

I felt like that about the entire Coldplay album when I was editing The Mist Chasers. It became the soundtrack.

Laura said...

Damien Rice's 'Cannonball' from the album 'O' was on auto-repeat when I was working on my first MS. It just fits the total devastation my MC goes through in the first 3 chapters, and instantly got me back into the right mind-frame. Interesting post... Lx

Michelle McLean said...

I LOVE that song! :) My current song is "Not Strong Enough" by Apocalyptica - it is sooooo the theme song of one of my WIPs, absolutely love it.

Donna K. Weaver said...

For me, it's often the music itself rather than the lyrics. Hey, I'm old. Christofori's Dream by David Lanz did that. As did Una mattina by Ludovico Einaudi and Expression by Helen Jane Long. With those last two, I will always think of my MCs when I hear them.

Great post.

Miriam Forster said...

Yay angst!

I haven't got a song yet for my new project, but a couple of years ago, one of my main characters had "White Horse" by Taylor Swift as her theme song. The first time I heard it on the radio I YELLED "That's it! That's Becca's song!"

She also ended up looking like Taylor, but I'm sure that's a coincidence. :)

Jonathon Arntson said...

I love everything about "Waiting for the End". It will be on my songs for summer list in June.

Besides your post and Carol's post, that's my blog's top viewed post of all-time.

Jessica A. Briones said...

There is nothign like a good song, lately I have been hooked on Adele. Writing about heartbreak? her new album is perfect for it and not to mention absolutlely awsome!

Suzie F. said...

"The Pretender" by the Foo Fighters has been a great source of inspiration for me lately. I can't listen to it enough. Puts me right in the zone!

storyqueen said...

Okay, this is the second Linkin Park Waiting for the End reference I've heard in one morning.....is the universe trying to tell me something?


Stina said...

I feel this way once I finish reading a great book and start a new one. You wonder (and hope) when the reading the first few pages if this one is going to be as magical as the last one.

Charity Bradford said...

Elana, guess what surprised me in the mail yesterday? YOUR BOOK!! Simon and Schuster sent me an ARC!!! I can't believe how excited I was. As soon as I finish the neighborhood newsletter today, I'm reading it!

Second, I love this song too. I actually put it in my list of songs on my Friday links last week. Sometimes all we can do is hold on to something we haven't got, and the image of every end being a beginning is beautiful.

Kelly Polark said...

I seriously just listened to this song on another blog ten seconds ago!. Great lyrics, and I love how versatile Linkin Park is. So many great different songs.
I wish I could write with music on since I'm such a music freak. But I end up singing along and get distracted....

Christine Fonseca said...

I love great lyrics, as you well know. But, I don't write to music with lyrics- I can't. Nope, I write to soundtrack music - and for me, it works beautifully :D

Tracey Neithercott said...

Yes, and I love when that happens. I don't necessarily write to the song, but if I'm driving or trying to fall asleep I'll listen to it on repeat. I can visualize my story so much better, and it kind of sets the tone. If I'm stuck, I just listen to the song and imagine all the places a scene could go, and pretty soon I've figured it out.

Fiction said...

This post is great. I just started writing a new story, and it was actually inspired by Sarah Mclachlan's classic track by Delirium : Silence. And I love the angst of Linkin Park too :)
Oh, oh!!! I'm reading Possession by the way, I got an ARC! yayy!

Emily White said...

Oh yes! There are two songs for my latest project, actually.

The first one is Hurt, done by Johnny Cash. And the second one is You Are More, by Tenth Avenue North. They literally give me chills every time I hear them! It's like they knew my MC and sang just for her.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

You're right--that is the perfect angst song! I can't listen to music while I write. It's too distracting and I don't get anything done. :(

Jessi said...

Ooh, can't wait to see what this song means for your MCs! I can't ever narrow things down to one song, so I do the playlist thing then listen to it endlessly while I work on a project. It's definitely about the feeling a song gives you and how you want to convey that in your story. For Moonglass, the main one was Try Not To Breathe by R.E.M.

Jessie Harrell said...

For DESTINED, "What if You" by Joshua Radin really resonated with me. The story is a retelling of the Cupid & Psyche myth, where Cupid is hiding his identity from Pysche, so he only comes to her at night when she can't see him. She gradually comes to love him anyway, but it's a tenuous trust. These lyrics just seem so perfect:

What if you
Could wish me away
What if you
Spoke those words today

I wonder if you'd miss me
When I'm gone
It's come to this, release me
I'll leave before the dawn

But for tonight
I'll stay here with you
Yes, for tonight
I'll lay here with you

But when the sun
Hits your eyes
Through your window
There'll be nothing you can do

Anonymous said...

ALWAYS listening to music while I write/edit/revise. "Sweet Disposition" by Temper Trap. "Starry-Eyed" by Ellie Goulding. "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele. anything at all by Xavier Rudd, Mason Jennings, Jack Johnson--they help me stay positive and put my mood into perspective.

Matthew MacNish said...

You're so funny. I LOVE your line by line analysis of Linkin Park. Hilarious.

It's funny though, I'm normally super laid back, but I'm really uptight about writing. I can't listen to music. Not if it has lyrics/vocals. I get too distracted.

Lindsay N. Currie said...

OMG all of these song suggestions are fantastic! I'm the freaky writer who just can't have music or noise while I'm writing/editing/revising. Of course, there's always the soundtrack of my three children tearing up the house. . . I wonder what would be the best band to put that to music LOL?

Shari said...

Linkin Park is quite awesome. The lyrics on this one are perfectly angsty. (Notice I used an adverb and I'm proud of it.)

Chris Phillips said...

Dr. Dog's "The Beach"

I like waiting for the end but Linkin Park's older stuff is better.

Anonymous said...

Oh, man. That's funny. I talked music on my blog today, too. LOL.

I am about to drive my husband NUTS with how many times I listen to Skillets, Awake and Alive.

Oh my word that song is awesome. It's hard rock, great lyrics and totally energizing. :) It sums up my novel, Wasteland, to the tee!!!

Great post today. :)

erica m. chapman said...

So cool! And YES this happens to me a lot when writing. For my current WIP it's a lot of different songs. I have one on repeat right now that totally works. Simple Math by Manchester Orchestra. The notes and melody totally pull me into the mood ;o)

<3 Linkin Park ;o) Great post!

Sara B. Larson said...

I also LOVE writing/editing to music. And it has to be the perfect music for it to work. I often use music to get me in the right mood for a scene. Often that ends up being instrumental music from soundtracks. But I also love beautiful music with lyrics too. Some of my faves are a couple of songs by Sia, Adele, Frou Frou/Imogen Heap, and more. I also love Linkin' Park. Great to work out to and write to! :)

Stacy Henrie said...

I've tried writing to music in the past (and liked it), but now I like writing to silence (or as close as it gets). I do like hearing a song on the radio (there's one by Coldplay that I really like) that brings to mind different scenes from my book, sort of like a movie trailor.

Stephanie McGee said...

There's a scene in my book that Taylor Swift's "Untouchable" fits to a tee. It not only fits the scene, but really the stumbling block to the relationship between two characters. Every time I hear the song I just see this scene in my head and my heart longs for that book to be on shelves so others can read it and hear the song.

Heather said...

Actually that usually happens to me a couple of times throughout a novel because I keep looking for the perfect song for each chapter. I love it when I come across one and it just clicks.

Taffy said...

Love "waiting for the end"! Thanks for bringing that song to my attention. It's going on my playlist.

Anonymous said...

I just fell in love with you. Seriously, I want to hack your compy and get your playlists. You've unveiled a mine of a angsty deliciousness and I am spazzing over the idea of so much "my preeccciousss!" Seriously. I want your list. Seriously.

Krispy said...

I absolutely LOVE this song, and that was before I realized it perfectly encapsulates one of my character's personal conflict. :D You have fantastic taste. :)

ali cross said...

Man, that last line's a kicker, isn't it? Sorry, can't think. My mouth is numb (cavities filled) and I have double vision and general YUCK. But dude, I dig your thing. Seriously.

Donea Lee said...

That's funny - is it The Harold song or The Herald song (I'm reading "Harold" on my ipod...) GREAT song, either way!

I don't always write to music, but I know music has inspired me to write. A few songs, Chris Isaak's Wicked Game; Daniel by Bat for Lashes; Tori Amos' A Sorta Fairytale; INXS' Mystify; The Fray's Over my Head... so many others!

Art influencing art - love it!

Unknown said...

Well, that's a coinky-dink. As I was reading your latest post, I was listening to "Blow" by Kesha, which I like. I'm not a big fan of her music, but this one is not bad.

Mart Ramirez said...

Love this song! yes, another song would be Firework. It's very touching for me.

Valerie Ipson said...

Strange...I love that Linkin Park song but I hardly recognized any of the words. I guess I've been mumbling along to it and really embarrassing my teenager in the process.

My song for my MC is "All Fall Down" by One Republic. I totally see it playing as the movie version opens..."whenever your world starts crashing down...lost till you're found...swim till you drown, know that we all fall down..."

Then anything Taylor Swift for the YA romance in my story.

Marsha Sigman said...

I haz chillz too.

The song for my last manuscript was Linkin Park, New Divide.

Too long to post any lyrics but it's brilliant and I heard it about halfway through my ms. It was like they were in my head writing a theme song.

Anonymous said...

I tend to prefer instrumentals and film soundtracks, because song lyrics can interfere when I write. But yes you're right, the right tune can give you the chills.

Becca said...

I love Linkin Park, and I love this song. It's been putting me in the mood to write every time I hear it.

And I agree with eeleenlee.... I usually prefer instrumentals and film soundtracks. I imagine them as the background to the scene. And they also help prevent lyric interference. However, being the bank geek that I am, I find myself singing certain instrumental parts, which can be just as interfering.

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm notorious for making up lyrics to songs, so I never usually know the real ones :) Drives my family a little batty! :)

Lydia Kang said...

OMG, I just picked this as one of my three songs to write to right now--check out Chris's blog if you can.
I'd call it serendipity, but I think it's just that Linkin Park rocks!


Anonymous said...

"runner up of the bachelor.." I laughed out loud reading that. I'll have to look up this song!

Meredith said...

I LOVE when you find that perfect song! Right now, for me, it's "Guinevere" by Eli Young Band. "For as much as she's stumbled, she's running/for as much as she runs, she's still here." Gives me chills and describes my MC perfectly.

Carolina M. Valdez Schneider said...

Ha! Every time I hear a song I love, that's what comes to mind, that this is THE song. The song of my life. I listened to Lily Allen's "Chinese" probably fifty times in a row once.

Missed Periods said...

I can't write or edit to music. I wish I could, but I need silence. I do like to clean the house to angsty music, though. My fave: Hole.

Larissa said...

I totally felt like that when I heard Christina Perri's Jar of Hearts. It is EXACTLY how my mc in my wip feels. EXACTLY.

And yes, I went directly to iTunes, bought it, and listened to it endless times.

I also love Waiting for the End to Come. <3

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