Jennifer Hillier

The movie in my mind

Jul 28, 2010 | Uncategorized

Announcement:  I’m being interviewed today by Jen at unedited! Stop by and say hello!

Now, on to today’s post.

When I was writing the first draft of CREEP, I listened to a lot of classic rock and alternative.  I had a bunch of songs on rotation, mostly tunes by Velvet Underground, Depeche Mode and, of course, Radiohead.  It didn’t feel right to listen to anything else, not even Lady Gaga.  As much as I love her (and you know I do!), her songs were too frantic and fun for for my Seattle-based serial killer.  Eventually my playlist became the soundtrack for CREEP: THE MOVIE IN MY MIND

If I’m having a good writing day, my scenes will play out like movies.  On the best days, all I have to do is write what I see.  I might not be able to see the faces of my characters, but I can see their shadows.  I can see the alleyway behind the soup kitchen where my killer volunteers.  I can smell the piss and vomit from the homeless people who live in the alley.  I can see the piles of garbage in the dumpster, and I can hear the wails of the ambulence sirens that rush by every hour, on the hour.  I can see the glowing neon lights of the fish market that’s closed for the night.  And if I breathe really deep, I can sometimes smell the fish scent left behind from the day’s business.

If I’m not having a good writing day, I can’t see any of this at all.  This is where the soundtrack comes in.  The right song can put me right where I need to be, and it almost never fails to work.  For example, if I’m in a happy mood and my writing is too peppy, this song will put me right into Serial Killer Mode:

(link no longer valid)

Gold star if you can guess the movie that made this song famous!  And another gold star if you can describe the actual scene where it played.  No Googling!

So, what’s currently on your writing soundtrack?