Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Very Musical Countdown to INVINCIBLE SUMMER


A lot of people make playlists for their books. I am one of them!

I've been trying to figure out the best way to show you guys my INVINCIBLE SUMMER playlist, because I'm pretty damn proud of it, and because it was hugely, hugely important to the creation of the book, even more so than most of the playlists I make

So here's what's up. Tomorrow, I'm going to run a post on the first song on INVINCIBLE SUMMER's playlist, and I'll keep on doing that until I run out of songs.

Here's the thing.

Tomorrow, when I start these posts, there will be 23 days left until INVINCIBLE SUMMER comes out.

I am not sure how many songs are on this playlist, but I *think* it is either 20 or 21.

Which means! I am going to run out of songs to post before time runs out! What to do what to do OH I THINK I KNOW WHAT TO DO.



And who even KNOWS what the prizes will be.

Will they be petite lap giraffes?

Will they be copies of INVINCIBLE SUMMER?

Will they be bushels of fresh fruit?

Will they be FIRE??

Will they be CDs of INVINCIBLE SUMMER's playlist?

Will they be some combination of two of the above suggestions??



So here are my rules for making playlists. I'm not enforcing them on anyone else! I'm just listing them because this is my blog and I can say whatever I want la la la la la la la.

---MAKE IT BEFORE YOU START. You make the playlist during the plotting stage. You can alter it later, but this happens before you get started. This is how you get the story in the head. This is how you let it roll around and chew on you and all that good stuff stories do.

---DO IT IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER. I don't write outlines. I make playlists.

And it works. If I don't know what happens next, I check the playlist. If I'm listening to the middle of the playlist and I realize I have four songs in a row expressing the same thing...uh, maybe something needs to fucking happen at that point in the story. Time to check iTunes for possible plot points!

---NO FAVORITES. If you know me at all, you'll know I love Motion City Soundtrack more than any healthy person loves anything. Which means I've listened to all of their songs a zillion times. I know them backwards and forwards.

You can't use songs you know that well. You need songs that you still have to listen to. When I'm first making a playlist, I put in tons of songs I've downloaded but never listened to if they have titles that sound like they might possibly work. If they don't, it's pretty damn easy to delete it. But The Music Gods make it work surprisingly often.

On that note:


---LISTEN TO IT WHENEVER. Sometimes I like to listen to music while I write. Sometimes I don't. Most of the playlist listening I do happens outside of actual writing time. It's the only music I'm allowed to listen to while I'm writing the first draft of the book.

You will get sick of it. You will hum the songs in your sleep. You will discover favorite bits of songs you don't even like all that much. You will discover that you actually hate songs that you thought you kind of liked.


Just in song form.

I'll kick off with song #1 tomorrow.


Janelle Alexander said...

Love it, Hannah! Can't wait to see the playlist! :o)

Amy said...

This is great! I love it. I didn't listen to much music for my last book, but my serial killer mermaid story has a playlist already. I'm even titling the chapters after song titles. It's freakish how it falls into place.
Awesome scheme--insert fiendish villain laughter--Love it!

Liz said...

I've heard of other authors listening to their playlists at times other than when they're writing. I've heard Claudia Gray and Leah Clifford talk about how they would listen to their soundtracks on commute so they'd be in the mood to write when they got home.

Looking forward to the release of Invincible Summer!

Kate Larkindale said...

This is a great idea. I've never had a playlist for a novel before, but the one I just finished created one because so much music was important to various characters that they mentioned songs and bands all the way through.

In fact, a song was the breakthrough moment for me.... The song that got the book finished.

fakesteph said...

Time to check iTunes for possible plot points! Love it. That may become my catchphrase if I ever become a superhero.

ashelynn sanford said...

That's great advice. I usually make playlists, but man, maybe I should try to do it your way.

Can't wait to see what you got in store for us! Personally, I want a petite lap giraffe, but hey, the other ideas sound awesome as well. :D

KT said...

PLAYLISTS ROCK. Can't wait for the contests and to hear these awesome songs!!

Wen Baragrey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wen Baragrey said...

I really, really hope there are lap giraffes.

Daisy said...

You really got me excited about Invincible Summer! I have it as an egalley and am going to start it, really, REALLY soon!

Sarah Goldberg said...

Sounds amazing, Hannah!

Anna said...

Ooo, can't wait! Making a soundtrack, for me, is a great procrastination tool that actually leads to awesome writing ideas later. I can't wait to hear the soundtrack for "Invincible Summer"!

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

I really like how your playlists help shape your books. It makes sense too.

I had this post bookmarked when you posted it, and I'm finally getting around to it and all your songs. I can't wait to see what's on your IS playlist.