Sometimes my brain works in ways that are strange. Actually, my wife would say, “Tell me something I don’t know.”
A few days ago, I was listening to a piece of music, and a character popped into my mind. I could see him. I knew he was 40 years old. I knew what he did for a living. I knew what quirks he had. And I knew what his heart yearned for.
I listened to the music again. Almost as quickly, a second character popped into my head. I could see her. I knew her age. I knew what she did for a living. And I knew how she was going to be brought together with the first character.
I listened to the music yet again. Within two days, I had the entire story mapped out in my head, start to finish. I started looking at web sites of places that would be settings for the story. I started marking certain web pages as favorites.
I knew this was going to be a novella, or short novel (or long short story). Three other characters materialized in minor, supporting roles. I could see their faces, too.
My problem is – I didn’t need this right now. I’m editing the manuscript that’s the sequel to Dancing Priest, I have a full-time job, some online work for The High Calling and a family.
But the music did something, stimulated something or initiated something. I did not sleep Monday night. It was as if I had drunk a very large cup of strong regular coffee right before bed. My eyes stayed wide open for most of the night as I played scene after scene in my head.
The story is done, beginning, middle and end. In my head. Not one word has yet to grace the computer screen.
I wrote Dancing Priest in my head for three years, and then starting pushing out the words.
But this time, the entire story came together fast. A simple story, a story about the need in a man’s heart. And all because I listed to a piece of music.
Author Travis Thrasher, who’s written numerous books (and I’ve liked every single one I’ve read), writes to a kind of soundtrack. In fact, the last few books he’s done have included a playlist of the music he listened to and connected to each book. (His official web site is here. He blogs at The Journey is Everything.)
But this is a bit different. One piece of music did it.
I just listened to it again. I confirmed the ending in my head.
Does anyone else write this way?
Please say yes.
Over at Faith Barista, Bonnie Gray has suggested the word “vulnerable” for a blog carnival prompt. I certainly felt vulnerable writing this one. To see more posts, please visit Faith Barista.
Photograph: Music Notes Background by Vera Kratochvil via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.