I played a little game last week, for no better reason than curiosity and to get to know some important characters better.
It was my birthday meal, a dozen good friends gathered (all chaps, it was a boys' night), and I asked each to bring along their choice for their favourite song of all time.
The answers in a moment, along with my own, but first the point of this blog. I started thinking about the role of music in my writing and realised something interesting -
The kind of music I listen to when I'm writing is heavily influenced by what I'm working on.
If I'm writing action scenes, then I often listen to The Jam, The Clash or The Who - they just seem to fit the bill, all energy and power.
If indulging in a little scene setting and description, it's usually classical music I go for.
Love scenes will commonly require an operatic background. Again, it just feels right.
When working up characters, my mind tends to request 60s music - maybe because of the wonderful charcaters of that extraordinary era, be they in music, writing, comedy or whatever.
And here's a very strange one. When I'm not actually writing, but planning and thinking, I'll often go for 80s music. Why? Probably because that was my coming of age era, and feels comforting and warmly nostalgic.
I wonder if other writers, looking at the way they work, have similar musical quirks?
Right, before I waffle on too long, time for an ambush to surprise, and (hopefully), amuse you -
(We have a tradition of a birthday hat for such dinners, and it's a real beauty.)
So, finally for this rambling, a list of my friends' all time favourite songs, in case you were desperate to know -
Piano Man/ Billy Joel, Telegraph Road/ Dire Straits, Vincent/ Don McClean, Billie Jean/ Michael Jackson, Vienna/ Ultravox, Wish You Were Here/ Pink Floyd, Another Brick in the Wall/ Pink Floyd, American Pie/ Don McClean, Peaceful Easy Feeling/ The Eagles, Scenes from an Italian Restaurant/ Billy Joel, Love Will Tear Us Apart/ Joy Division.
And my choice? It was Paint it Black/ The Rolling Stones.
As to what that says about my character, I shall stop this blog right here.