I've posted here before about the importance of playlists in my writing process. And I always love reading other people's playlist posts–it's one of the reasons I like largehearted boy's Book Notes feature so much. It's a particular look through another writer's window, slightly and enjoyably voyeuristic, even though limited to the book in question. Another way of understanding both writer and novel, or just of finding new bands or being reminded about old ones. For my own part, I know a project's taking on life when I feel the need to pause and make the big playlist that I'll listen to while writing, though that playlist evolves along the way. A new draft means a substantially tweaked playlist, usually.
Anyway, I realized this morning that I also tend to find a new song sometime along the way through the draft that I come to think of as the book's anthem. Typically, it shows up right before the last third of the story, and this morning the creepy island book's came blaring out of the car stereo muse-sent from my very own iPod,* a song I'm not even sure I'd ever listened to after I downloaded it. The song is "Kick In Your Heart" by Gliss (which can be heard here, if you like). I suspect I will listen to it a millionty times in the next few weeks.
The anthem is different than the playlist. First, it gets played on repeat over and over again, and usually when I'm consciously thinking about the story, instead of while actually writing. The song tends to conjure strong visualization of big scenes, call up emotion to match, and lead to lots and lots of plot nailing-down. It begins to represent the whole story I'm working toward having told. It becomes the song of the book that will soon be written.
What about you guys? Do you do this, too?
*Good thing I haven't quite figured out how to manipulate the contents of my birthday present yet (it's fancier than my old one!), or I probably wouldn't have had the song on there in the first place. Autoload can sometimes be serendipitous.