Saturday, July 21, 2012

Need a Story Idea? Listen to Some Music

I get asked quite often in interviews where the inspiration for Rise of the Fallen (book one in my AKM series) came from. Micah Black, the protagonist in ROTF, was a character I created for role playing purposes. He had a story to tell, and I planned on writing it out in role play format. Then I figured I would post the story on my Facebook page, chapter-by-chapter. It turned out that Micah wasn't having that. He kept wanting to alter the story as I wrote it, but with the earlier chapters already posted, I couldn't. So I pulled it down from my Facebook page and let Micah guide me as I rewrote it from start to finish.

But there was one key factor that made Micah's story so powerful: A song.

I love all kinds of music, and at the time I was writing ROTF, I was in a dark place in my own life and was listening to a lot of Korn and alternative rock (Slipknot, Disturbed, etc.). I was running errands one morning, listening to Korn's CD, Untouchables, and the following song came on:

Hollow Life, by Korn

Lyrics for Hollow Life, by Korn

Beating the fall, I can’t help but desire of falling down this time
Deep in this hole of my making, I can't escape falling all this time

We come to this place, falling through time living a hollow life
Always we're taking, waiting for signs, hollow lives...
Fearing to fall and still the ground below me calls, falling down this time
Ripping apart all these things that i've tried to stop falling all this time

We come to this place, falling through time living a hollow life
Always we're taking, waiting for signs, hollow lives...

Is there ever any wonder why we look to the sky?
Search in vain, asking "why?"
All alone, where is God?
Looking down, we don’t know

We fall in space, we can't look down
Death may come, peace I have found
What to say? Am I alive?
Am I asleep? or have I died?

We fall in space (Wanting Peace)
We can't look down (Wanting Peace)
Death may come, peace I have found
(Something takes a hold of me) I want to say my whole life
"Am I asleep?" (Something takes a hold of me), We fall down.

If you've read Rise of the Fallen (ROTF), the opening scene shows Micah perched with bent knees and his hands gripping the railing between his feet on the banister of his 18th Floor luxury apartment in downtown Chicago, naked, leaning into the wind, his soul scorched with pain and agony. He's lost in despair, wishing for death because his partial mate just left him and opened long-sealed wounds from the loss of his first mate, Katarina. He's a ticking timebomb.

That entire scene developed in the car that morning I was running errands and Hollow Life came on. It was damn near impossible to drive as I kept replaying the song over and over, locking in the images I was seeing inside my mind so that when I got home I could immediately rush to my computer and type up the first draft.

Hollow Life by Korn was what brought Rise of the Fallen into being.

I'm now in a happier place in my life, and my music reflects that, but I still find great inspiration in songs. I have a couple of characters who are just talking up a storm right now, and a couple of their favorite songs are:

and this one in two different versions, but this one runs like a video through my mind:

Another one by Kaskade stirs up all kinds of images of a female lead guitarist for a band who plays house music, and that's all I'll give away on that idea:

Tokio Hotel's Monsoon provided inspiration for Heart of the Warrior, and Jes's Into the Dawn is always a winner, as well as For A Lifetime by Simmonds & Jones. And now that Micah is no longer balancing on the edge of self-implosion and destruction, I guess I need to find him a new song, huh? Any suggestions?

What songs have inspired you? Feel free to share.

Happy Reading and Writing!


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