Music Gets to the Heart of the Character

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve thrown myself into a new manuscript: the (hopefully, potential) sequel to Fairyproof.

As usual, the biggest part of getting words to flow for me, is getting deep inside my character’s heads and hearts.  Going into this, I thought it would be a little easier this time around. Keiran–the hero of this story–is an old friend to me. I fell in love with him (well as much as a woman can fall in love with a made up guy in her head) while writing Fairyproof, and had always hoped for this day when I could dig a little deeper into his character and write his happily ever after.

If anyone deserves one, it’s him.

When the core ideas for this story came to me sometime ago, I’d made a lot of notes. I also had a pretty good sense of the type of woman it was going to take to turn my tough guy’s head.

What I wasn’t too familiar with yet was what it was how he was going to react when Miss right walked through the door and those protective walls of his began to crumble.

I learned long ago, through my own experience, that music can often get to the heart of what a person feels. About a week ago I went on the search for Keiran’s perfect playlist. The go-to songs on his iPod. The ones he’d overplay as he was falling for a woman.

My own iPod was letting me down. Keiran is just not as sappy as I am. In fact, my romantic music was making him gag a little.

Thank goodness for Sirius Radio ( 80s on 8 ) and my short little drive to work. Yesterday morning these two came up back to back on my drive, and I Keiran reacted very well.

“Crazy Little Thing…” touched on his excited confusion as feelings he tried to shut down came alive, and “One Night Love Affair” is a pretty good sum-up of how he would try to tell himself he could keep his heart from going over the edge.

Both songs are included below so that you can get the same sneak-peak at what makes Keiran tick that I got.

Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen

One Night Love Affair – Bryan Adams


  1. Ayda Recknagel says:

    I like Keiran’s taste in music! Crazy Little Thing Called Love is one of my all-time favorite songs. :)

  2. Like Keiran’s playlist. My characters playlist includes several Sade. When I need inspiration, I play Kiss Of Life.

  3. CMPhillips says:

    I like his taste too Ayda! But you know I dig the ’80s.

  4. CMPhillips says:

    You got a great playlist there too, Leigh! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Oh I love music while writing. Each of my couples have their own ‘romance’ playlist I listen two while writing. I love to find songs that fit their moods before and during the relationship. It’s amazing how music can move the soul! Great blog!

    • CMPhillips says:

      Thanks, M.J., for stopping by. You sound like you incorporate music into your writing process in much the same way I do. It’s a key to connecting, I think, and a great way to connect to your characters.

  6. I love Crazy Little Thing Called love.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I’m following you. :)