Music moves me.
It doesn't have to be a certain genre or a particular artist, but the right song with the right lyrics can really inspire me. Perhaps it's because a good song is really just poetry set to music. So for me, great music is kind of like reading a best seller while driving the car or making dinner...
When I was in the middle of my first novel, I happened across my husband's James Blunt CD in the car and, being too lazy to change the setting (or maybe just too pregnant!), I discovered the songs that would be my motivation each day. As my story began to delve into topics that were often dark and painful...childhood abuse, suicide, loss of a parent...it was a daily challenge to find my heroine's 'truth' as a real person with a heart and mind of her own.
But there on that James Blunt CD, I found the "theme songs" of my hero and heroine and I played them religiously on the way home from dropping my kids off at school each day. I'd listen to the songs (tracks 4 and 5 respectively...) and instantly reconnect with Andie and Tony and know what they would do next. It was largely this music that let me see my characters in my mind's eye as real and human.
I still listen to the CD, though less often, with a certain wistfulness of days gone by.
So now, I'm currently stumped at 8000 words on my latest work and wonder if maybe I'm just missing the requisite music. I've heard of method acting: maybe this is my "method-writing". But finding that just right piece of music that particularly moves me is like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. I'm driving myself crazy!
I'm sure it's like anything else and when I stop looking - or listening - I'll find it. Until then, I'll plod along getting to know Sadie, my new heroine, by what she chooses to do today...and tomorrow...and the next day...
As a writer, the process just keeps amazing me! I love feeling like I'm reading the book even as I'm writing it!