The Best of My Favorite Character’s Soundtracks

The Best of My Favorite Character’s Soundtracks

I’ve mentioned before how big a role music plays in the creative process. I have different soundtracks for different tasks and novel projects, depending on what I’m working on at the time. Sometimes I use music to get in the mood, sometimes to find a character’s voice, and sometimes to set the tone of a particular scene.

The longer a character or project exists, the more music they accumulate. My current project, the Celestial Serenade, has almost three hours worth of soundtrack that, when played in the right order, allows the listener to trace the origin of the story.

One of my favorite exercises is organizing playlists for my characters. As I listen to new music, or rediscover old music, I find them the lyrics or driving guitar solos. I file these details away so that I can use those songs to summon them back later, making it easier to transfer my feelings onto the page.

I’m starting to organize notes for a new project so, of course, I’m updating my old soundtracks. And I’ve found some interesting details along the way.

Songs for a Princess

I mentioned in Rose’s character introduction that she’s my oldest character. She featured in my first scribbled stories. And due to her longevity, she’s also the character who has transformed the most since her creation.

Because she’s been with me so long, Rose has a wide and varied soundtrack. Some songs still evoke a sense of the character, even when the lyrics and tone no longer match the actual events of her tale.

What song most evokes the image of this character?

Killer Queen by Queen

In high school, whenever this song came on, it instantly made me think of Rose. Of course, I didn’t know what a lot of the lyrics referred to back then, so it also conjured her image in a silver sci-fi outfit running around with a literal laser beam.

Now that I’m older, and understand the song better, I can’t decide if it’s a better or worse fit. I don’t know if Rose would actually act the way described in this song. But I do think it suits her personality perfectly. Either way, whenever I hear this song, she pops into my head.

What song most closely fits my concept of the character?

Desert Rose by Sting

It’s interesting to note that both the songs I chose to showcase for this character have been on her soundtrack since I was in high school. This song doesn’t fit any of the events in Rose’s story, but both the music and the lyrics encompass the soul of the character I tried to create.

In high school, one of my best friends used this song to create a poster of Rose that remains one of my favorite images. I framed it and hung it on the wall in my bedroom.

What’s the Meatloaf Song for this moment?

Awhile back, I wrote a post about how there’s a Meatloaf song for every moment. Recently, the friend I mentioned in that post asked if each of my characters has a Meatloaf song. It turns out, they do! Which is Rose’s?

What about Love

This song that wasn’t around at the time I established Rose’s original details. Since then, her relationships have developed significantly. There are three different men this song could apply to, but all with equal strength.

Songs for a Warrior

Domerin hasn’t been around as long as most of the other characters in this post. But he’s one of my loudest characters and, thus, I write about him extensively. He also has the largest soundtrack out of all my characters. Probably because he has so many different incarnations.

I expected it to be difficult to narrow down the songs I included on this list. But a few leapt out at me.

What song most evokes the image of this character?

Fever Dreams by Ronnie James Dio

Domerin has a lot of heavy metal on his soundtrack. I expected to reach for Iron Maiden or Iron Savior to answer this question, and then I hit the Dio portion of my list. There are several Dio songs that invoke Domerin’s presence in my mind, but Fever Dreams could be considered his definitive concept song. The struggle to overcome one’s inner darkness is at the center of his story.

What song most closely fits my concept of the character?

This one is actually a tossup between Keep the Faith and Wanted Dead or Alive both by Bon Jovi

Keep the Faith has always called to mind the image of a cynical old warrior, tired from his exploits and ready to lay down his swords. An image that fits Domerin well. But Dead or Alive captures him in the days before he’s ready to walk away, when the call of travel and combat still weigh heavily on his shoulders. The line about marking days with the type of booze you drink is particularly evocative.

What’s Domerin’s Meatloaf Song?

The Monster’s Loose

There are actually several MeatLoaf songs which remind me of Domerin – which made this a difficult choice. But if he had a definitive MeatLoaf song, it’s this one. Especially since it effectively captures the awakening of his berserker abilities.

Songs for a Dancer

Next to Rose, Cazella is the oldest character on this list. I created her in high school, but didn’t find her personality or her story until much later. I’ve made no secret about the fact that Cazella tends to dance by day and work the street corners by night. She’s an interesting character and I’m looking forward to better exploring her story.

What song most evokes the image of this character?

Hallelujah (I prefer the Rufus Wainwright version)

This is a recent addition to Cazella’s soundtrack, though I’ve obviously been aware of the song for awhile. It didn’t instantly conjure the image of this character the first time I listened to it. But the more I repeat the song, the more the two become linked. It suits her personality, if not her story, and the tragedy that seems to follow her no matter how hard she runs.

What song most closely fits my concept of the character?

This one is actually a tossup between Criminal by Fiona Apple and Bring Me To Life by Evanescence

Both are older songs that have been with Cazella since her creation and development. The first is a perfect match for her personality and attitude, while the second perfectly fits her closest and most treasured relationship.

What’s her Meatloaf Song?

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

This was a tough choice. In truth, this song belongs to one of my best friends, and has since high school, when it was practically her chosen theme song. Then again, said friend was a lot of the inspiration behind Cazella’s creation, so it makes sense they would share the same song.

Songs for a Thief

I consider Silkfoot Lightvolt to be one of my most charming and interesting characters. He’s also terribly underutilized; an issue I’m attempting to remedy by increasing the role he’ll play in this upcoming project.

Silkfoot’s soundtrack is also strangely sparse. In part because he shares music with a lot of other characters (Domerin most prominently). But also because the music that tends to remind me most of Silkfoot doesn’t have lyrics. I don’t know why, but I find him in a lot of classical music and their modern rock remakes.

Never-the-less, Silkfoot has some songs that are definitively his.

What song most evokes the image of this character?

I Want It All by Queen

Believe me; there is a lot of Queen on the expanded versions of these soundtracks. The title probably says it all with this one. Silkfoot doesn’t just want tangible things. There are lots of intangible things he’s after as well. He’s always out to get something for himself, that’s for sure!

What song most closely fits my concept of the character?

Libertalia by Running Wild

This song is pretty self-explanatory. Silkfoot is a pirate, after all. But the main reason I chose this song is because Silkfoot’s closest friend and constant companion, Kestrel, often compares him to a wind; impossible to catch and difficult to keep up with.

And his Meatloaf Song?

Original Sin

You’ve probably noticed a clear theme here. Silkfoot is both a thief and a thrill-seeker at heart. He wants to experience the world his way, and he’s not going to let anyone stop him. But for all his levity, he’s not without his touches of darkness.

What are your favorite character soundtrack songs? Let me know in the comments!

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