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On Music and Writing

Updated: Nov 1, 2022


Happy Halloween! I hope everyone has a safe, fun spooky season!

We're going to have a somewhat shorter post today and then on Thursday, I'll post another deleted scene from my work in progress!

I’ve been reflecting a lot recently on my writing, and how it has breathed life into me in a way that only one other thing ever has- music. It’s been hard for me to put into words how much music has influenced every page of the book I’m writing so far. Other than writing, music is one of the few things that feels as much like home as any physical space, and I wanted my characters to feel that way too. It is only in the last few months that I’ve decided how much of a role music is going to play in the story itself.

The deep understanding that my characters have for their respective instruments is the same kind of deep understanding I have for writing stories. For Colin, the violin is a way to ground himself, to convince himself that he is human, that he is good. For Astrid, the piano led her out of solitude, an extension of her hand and her voice from the day she was reunited with it. For Avalon, who could conduct an orchestra with her eyes closed but never thought she’d get to, music is a place to escape the confines and loss of royalty and a way to stand out when society wants her to conform. For Azalea, music lead her out of the panic she feels when she thinks about the uncontrollable nature of her magic- and it ends up helping her control it.

Writing the summary of my book to the Prague Cello Quartet’s “Phantom of the Opera Overture” a few months ago was a turning point for me in so many ways; it is perfect down to the colors I see when I hear the song. I don't know how I came up with it- it's a very niche, very strange skill to be able to hear a story in a song about something else. I have a full breakdown of the song that I can post at some point if people are interested; it’s the coolest thing in the world to me and I will not stop talking about it.

That was not the first time I wrote a story set to a song, but it was the time everything slid into place, including the name for the book, a name that came to me one day out of the blue. My story is about a general and a princess and how they fall in love, but at its core, my story is about music connecting souls.

Something about writing this book has brought me back to who I am, and I am so eternally proud of this story, every stumbling block in my life that has led me to these broken people yearning to feel whole. A leader who craves a family. A queen with a musician’s soul. A father willing to march straight into hell for his daughter. A princess grieving a sister she didn’t know never died. A little girl who doesn't understand how important she is.

And then there’s also swords and violins and men loving their horses and all that fun stuff.

You’ll see a lot on this blog about music because for me, the two end up being interchangeable quite a lot. I love writing stories to instrumental music and I love that music can give me a deeper understanding of the story I’m trying to tell.

I love that I've written music into this book because I will always have a link to music now. When I hear a violin piece, I instantly think of Colin and Avalon. When I hear the piano, I can see Astrid's fingers flying up and down a keyboard.

What kind of music do you like to listen to while you write? Let me know in the comments!

Xoxox - Emmabird

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