IWSG: Does Your Novel’s ‘Music’ Capture the Reader in an Avalanche of Emotion?


Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

The awesome co-hosts for the November 5 posting of the IWSG will be LG Keltner, Donna Hole, Lisa Buie-Collard and SL Hennessy!

Founder of IWSG:  Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He is experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Author of the Amazon Best Selling Cassa series, CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm.

Website, Twitter, Goodreads

 Authors Need to be Musical Composers

Is it possible that you might not remember this scene? After all, if you are drawn to romance movies, you’ve seen this embrace, or many other passionate facsimiles a zillion times. Why would you remember the desperate embrace of Hawkeye and Cora at the waterfall in The Last of the Mohicans?

It’s the music.

Since 1992 I’ve never forgotten this image and the song, I Will Find You. In fact, the entire movie was given more emotional impact because of the phenomenal soundtrack.

How can a novel compete with cinematic scenes underscored by a soundtrack composed by the likes of Jones and Edelman? After all, authors are not musicians.

Or are we?

When writing a novel, it occurred to me that the author needs to write in the ‘music’ composition subliminally. There’s pacing and rhythm, the power of an escalating climax, the ebb and flow of dialogue and character moods, rising anticipation and crushing defeat. The author’s composition should lift the reader to the breathtaking heights of discovery; then bury her/him deep into intrigue and desperation, sliding and rolling in an uncontrolled tumble into the plot’s dark vortex.

Yep, as an author, this is  another skill I need to keep in mind along with the dozen other rules.

As a reader, perhaps that’s why some novels I’ve read left me unmoved. Although the plot and characters were reasonably interesting, I could not hear the music.

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9 thoughts on “IWSG: Does Your Novel’s ‘Music’ Capture the Reader in an Avalanche of Emotion?

  1. Feather Stone, a bit on the wild side.

    Thanks for the ‘thumbs up’ comment, Lisa. I wasn’t sure if my intended message was clear enough. Hell, never sure about that, LOL.


  2. jenlanebooks

    Fantastic post, Feather. I’ve never thought about books that way either, but your comparison about pacing, rhythm, moods makes sense. I’d add that the main character provides the melody and supporting characters provide harmony (or discord).


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