Monday, October 19, 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015 Prep: The Sound of Story by A. Catherine Noon

The Sound of Story

Creating characters that seem like real people is a challenge. One way to keep things straight is to figure out what your character would listen to on the radio. One’s musical tastes say a lot about a person – for example, imagine a fan of George Thorogood’s “One Bourbon, One Scotch, and One Beer” meeting a fan of the Three Tenors “Nessum Dorma” at a work function where they have to mingle with each other. Would the sparks fly? Would they hiss at each other like angry cats? Would they walk away, bored; or stay and talk, intrigued?

I bet that you already have a picture of these two characters in your mind. Are they male? Female? One of each? Old? Young? Ethnicity?

See how easy it is to build a character from a musical taste?

What I do is actually build virtual radio stations on Pandora for my characters. Sadly, it’s only available in the United States right now, due to licensing restrictions imposed by the recording industry. Outside the States, one could build stations on YouTube, especially with the automatic continue function. You can let YouTube pick the next songs for you, too, which can create an element of what I look for in Pandora: because the software picks the songs, it’s as though my character, and not me, is selecting the playlist.

My coauthor and I found an interesting phenomenon when we started using this process: when it came time to edit a book, it might be months after it was finished. In order to get back into the headspace of a particular character, one can use the character’s musical station to “set the mood,” and remind oneself of the character’s personality.

What about you, Dear Reader? What’s your favorite kinds of music or musical performers? If you could create a soundtrack for your favorite character, what would you include?

About the Author

For author and textile artist A. Catherine Noon, it's all about the yarn, both metaphorical and literal - spinning a yarn, knitting with yarn, weaving, sewing, painting, sharing stories and good times over a cup of coffee with dark chocolate. She teaches creative writing, creative expression and textile arts.

Book Info

When you’re an ex-Marine tiger shifter, love comes with a high cost – is it too much to pay?

Mitchell Brayden is an ex-Marine tiger shifter looking for love in all the wrong places. When he decides to rescue a young ocelot shifter from a rich, spoiled playboy, he embroils himself in a conflict that goes back generations.

Guadalupe Salazar grew up as a pampered pet of a benevolent patron. After his patron’s untimely death, he stays on with the patron’s son – a self-centered, weak man who got ensnared by the drugs and fast living in the States. One night, it goes too far and Lupe is beaten nearly to death. He is taken to a secret shifter clinic where he meets an unlikely knight in tarnished armor.

Together, Mitch and Lupe confront the playboy and his friends – but will their actions draw the rest of the jaguar familias, not to mention the ocelot clans, into a battle over Lupe’s future? Will the delicate balance of power destroy everything that Mitch’s small band of tiger shifters has built in Chicago?

Cat's Cradle is available at Amazon.


A. Catherine Noon said...

Thank you for having me today, Robyn!

Darla M Sands said...

It never occurred to me that listening to a Pandora station is like your character choosing instead of you. That's very clever. Thank you for sharing!

A. Catherine Noon said...

I'm glad to share, Darla! I hope it gives you some ideas for your writing.

Thanks for coming by!