Helion Chronicles s1
The Helion Chronicles may be one of my favorite writing playlists. It’s my usual mix of songs with lyrics and also only instrumentals. Somehow, though, I curated an AWESOME mix of the songs with lyrics, only one of which I actually remember how/where I found it (that would be Love is Mystical which was at the end of an episode of The Brave).
Beyond all the songs I love, the playlist overall has great energy that I hope is echoed in the stories.
I listened to this every time I sat down to write Enchanted Storms. The first song in every novel’s playlist is something like the theme song – it sets the tone and the emotion and reminds me what the book is and what it feels like. For Enchanted Storms, that was Lullaby by Nickelback.
I love the angst and the passion in it; it sounds like there’s a storm coming and you can’t fight it; you can’t dodge it. But somehow in the middle of the storm you find something that means more to you than you ever could have imagined. And then you’re torn apart; reaching out desperately for each other in the maelstrom. But in your heart you’re never alone.
The other theme song for this novel became Requiem for a Requiem for a Dream by Jennifer Thomas. It’s a fiercely elegant song that balances quiet, tender moments with driving the characters into destiny.
The other songs hit a variety of emotional notes from quiet and lovely to playfulness and haunting angst. I can usually write light, fun moments well so I try to put a lot of energy and a good amount of darkness into the music I listen to in order to pull me into more conflict and more interesting stories.
The first song in every writing playlist is the key to each story. It reminds me of the tone and the feel of everything the story needs to be. The twist with Tattered Heart is that I put the key song last so that I wouldn’t hear it a thousand times and get tired of it.
But then I listened to Opening so many times, and it is elegant and powerful, passionate and a little sad. It became a theme song as well.
Truly, though, My Name is Lincoln is the heart of everything I hope Tattered Heart became. Gentle in the beginning, quietly lovely, elegance that gains in power and strength as it progresses through sadness and triumph and unexpectedly fierce and wonderful at the end. It is one of my favorite songs ever.
You’ll notice the rest of the playlist includes a lot of the Elizabeth: The Golden Age score. It came into my life just as I was beginning to write, to build the playlist that would inspire this story. I intermingled a mix of songs that complimented a fairy tale, keeping it slightly dark in order to remind myself that the story needed conflict; things needed to be hard and to let the characters wade into sadness and anger and fear.
It began at roughly an hour so I could sit and make myself write once through the playlist but it grew as I discovered new songs or added old favorites when I really needed them for a particular moment.
The one song I listened to quite a bit at the end but never put on the playlist is I See Fire by Ed Sheeran. I love it too much and too broadly to let it belong to a single novel.