We’d just come out of the movie Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, and a scene was stuck in my head, a beautiful image that’s a bit of a spoiler so I’m not going to tell it other than it was magnificently sound-tracked with the Hollies’ The Air That I breathe. In this, the music and imagery really worked to form a perfect meld, the moment where what the director wanted me to get, I got.
Before the music industry became the hip-hop ring-tone thing it is today, individuals could still produce music that touched our souls, not simply vectored for a target audience and Facebook-buzz. And perhaps even though writers face a bleak market in decline, one where unimaginative kid-lit makes big bucks and thoughtful pieces languish in slush heaps, there is still a glimmer of hope. Sure, we’re unrepresented. Sure, we’re unread. But we are in control of our writing (still). It is our art and our thoughts, our blood and our breath. We might not get published but we can still write whatever beauty, terror, wonder or magnificence we can imagine.
You should consider this every time you write, what new things you will create, what insights you will interject, what words you will tickle your readers with. Imagine your story up on that screen, amazingly beautiful. What soundtrack will they play for it? What are you expressing? What is the swaying rhythm that heartbeats through your moment?
For me, in Early ReTyrement, there is the opening scene (HERE) where the slow and steady past gets booted in the bottom by a sudden injection of Dion’s “The Wanderer”. Wouldn’t that make a great image? Can’t you just see the cut-scene, from a regal vista in ancient Tyre to a zoom shot over Daytona Beach with that music banging away? That’s what I envisioned when I wrote it, the musical surprise, the sharp cut-away, the then-now contrast. Hopefully you will see it that way, too.
It’s the air that we breathe.