Saturday, October 29, 2011

Noveling playlist: 1920s music

I find that when I'm working on fiction — or just writing in general — music can be either a help or a hindrance.  The right music will help to create the mood I want to evoke in my novel's tone, while the wrong music will distract me from my writing.  I find that lyrics can be especially distracting, especially if it's the wrong kind of music or I have the volume up too loud.

Writing nonfiction and marketing copy, I tend to write without music.  It's been a long time since I've written fiction regularly, but long before there were iPods and playlists, I was choosing specific music as "writing music."  For instance, for one of the novels I started in high school (never finished — still intend to someday, as it was a fantastic idea) I listened to a lot of Enigma to achieve that dark, otherworldly mood.

For Ruby's story, I'm listening to 1920s music.

I could easily get by with stuff like Enigma, and as Ruby gets more heavily involved in the vampire world, perhaps I will.  But I find that 1920s music keeps me pretty well grounded in flapper and speakeasy culture while I write.

When hubby and I got married in 2007, our wedding was 1920s-themed, so we'd bought a bunch of 20s music from iTunes.  When I started working on Ruby Ransome I pulled out those old CDs and created a new playlist.  The jazz of the 1920s is fun and full of energy, but it also does well turned way down, as background music while I write.  If you are interested in 1920s music, here are a few of my favorites from my playlist:

  • Crazy Rhythm
  • Five Feet Two, Eyes of Blue
  • Ain't She Sweet
  • Sweet Georgia Brown
  • Ain't Misbehavin'
  • Coquette
  • Dinah
  • If You Knew Susie
  • My Honey's Lovin' Arms
  • Second Hand Rose
  • The Black Bottom
  • The Sheik of Araby
  • Who
  • The Charleston
  • Honey
  • Shiny Stockings
  • Down Hearted Blues
  • Makin' Whoopee
  • My Blue Heaven
You might notice that a lot of these come from a 3-CD set called Rhythm Crazy, but you can also find a lot of them on YouTube, if you're just interested in hearing some 1920s music!

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