Monday, April 4, 2011

Lyrical Invention

With the release of the novel scheduled for tomorrow, I thought it was time to do another post. This time I thought I'd focus on one aspect of my invention process: music. As I said in my interview for Punkin House, a key aspect of my writing has always been trying to define moments of real beauty, moments that I cannot explain through traditional descriptions. In the early stages of the novel's development, the chapters were titled according to song lyrics. In fact, the original draft of the novel was even titled "A Simple, Twisted Fate" in reference to Bob Dylan, one of my favorite artists of all time. So, I thought I'd give you a few examples of the kinds of song lyrics that inspired some of the text of The Price of Loyalty. In fact, a truly careful reader may spot a few references to Bob Dylan, or Pearl Jam, or Phish, still implanted within the text.

Bob Dylan, "Visions of Johanna"
"Voices echo, this is what salvation must be like after a while.

Phish, "Rift"
"...and silence contagious in moments like these, consumed me and strengthened my will to appease."

Ben Harper, "Glory and Consequence"
"Every moral has a story, every story has an end. Every battle has its glory, and it's consequence."

Bruce Springsteen, "Devils and Dust"
"I've got my finger on the trigger, and tonight faith just aint enough. When I look inside my heart, there's just devils and dust."

Jack Johnson, "It's All Understood"
"And fact is only what you believe, and fact and fiction work as a team."

Counting Crows, "Mrs. Potter's Lullaby"
"If dreams are like movies, then memories are films about ghosts."

Coldplay, "Til Kingdom Come"
"I don't know which way I'm coming, I don't know which way I've come."

Everclear, "Fire Maple Song"
"Turn away from the pain you don't want, Turning down to avoid them when they call."

Ben Folds Five, "Brick"
"Smell of cold, car seat is freezing, The world is sleeping...I am numb."

Foo Fighters, "New Way Home"
"I felt like this on my way home."

Bob Dylan, "Not Dark Yet"
"Behind every beautiful thing, there's been some kind of pain."

Ben Harper, "Please Bleed"
"Is this really living? Sometimes it's hard to tell. Or is this just a kinder, gentler Hell?"

My friend, Kyle, is most certainly the inspiration for the Dustin character in the book. After he read the manuscript, he gave me a mix CD he had created entitled, "Songs Inspired by A Simple, Twisted Fate." Though none of the songs were the same, I loved all of the songs on the album. A few even inspired a few new chapters in the novel, and for that, I am incredibly grateful.

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