Some authors need silence to write; a blank space so their thoughts can be heard. And some of us need an ocean of music.
I’m one of those.
Music enslaves me. It always has. Even a crackle from a stranger’s earbuds will insist on my attention. In cafes that play music, I’m a zombie.
So it probably seems an odd facilitator for writing. But it’s this domineering quality that I find so helpful.
When I’m working on a novel, I drown in possibilities. Music helps me sort them out, holds them still so I can examine what the characters might feel and do. And so each novel I write has an undercover soundtrack.
An undercover soundtrack is not the music that the characters might like, or the songs that have meaning for them. It’s the pieces that became special to me as I wrote.
Creating a place
I first began making undercover soundtracks when I was ghostwriting novels. Many had exotic settings, and music helped conjure the mood. Trilok Gurtu was a …