What does music have to do with writing a novel? The answer is everything and absolutely nothing. Before I ventured into the ludicrous project of a novel, I let off steam with photos, graphics, screenshots and videos. My first book-writing scale project was creating a story film in the MMORPG Dark age of Camelot. 2 years of production and 1 hour 44 minutes playtime later I was standing in front of my finished film and was allowed to look for a new challenge. So why not also make a film of my all-time favorite game? The film project “the resurrection of the genius” was born. But as so often in life, everything should not go according to plan and when the golden age of the Dark Age of Camelot gradually came to an end, the idea of another story film fell silent. The decreasing number of active players was hardly interested in activities outside of the competition in PvP, so that a project of this size could no longer be realized in the desired quality. So one day I changed the medium from film to book, so that I could start and push ahead with my project, independent of the support of others, to create something of my own from the Terranigma universe. But the idea had existed as a film in my head for so long that I continued many scenes with images and sound in my mind. The pictures and locations gave way over time, but the music stayed.
When writing the first two acts, I therefore oriented myself more towards songs that I picked out for the plot sections and situations. A march through a devastated country is accompanied by just as dreary and lifeless music, whereas a fight it is possible to drum vigorously. For this purpose, I used numerous outstanding pieces of music from movies, video games and other soundtracks. Ironically, the songs from Terranigma itself were rarely chosen, as they are often too playful or heroic for my sometimes more serious movie-oriented tone and do not reflect the atmosphere I want to create. In my choice of music, I like to use composers such as Michael Giacchino (LOST), Hans Zimmer (Inception) and, as a gamer, of course, the Grandmaster Nobuo Uematsu (FF). But songs chosen by Terranigma should also be mentioned, such as the “Crysta theme / hometown”, “a place to rest / good night”, “barren land” and of course “Resurrection / open the door” and “elle’s theme”.
When I reached the third act at some point, I quickly realized that this approach of „music first“ could not be maintained in the long term. Now that Ark has come into more contact with people again and a lot of dialogues are put on paper, the scenes and conversations are increasingly difficult to force into the tight corset of a piece of music, although from now on I have got more and more into the music editing, whereby I extended individual songs appropriately or combined several songs. I put a shower of rain under an initially unsuitable song, which means that the plot is perfectly intertwined.
In the meantime I have reached the „write first“ mode. So I write freely without worrying about whether I will find suitable pieces of music at all. The chapters got longer and longer and the dialogues, descriptions and details considered more and more numerous, because I now have enough space for all my ideas and no longer have to chop them up for the benefit of the duration of the music. Long live the directors cut.
Music will, however, continue to play a major role in the writing of the chapters. They offer me inspiration and help me to empathize with an emotional or exciting scene. I still think of a lot of new scenes and dialogues when I pay attention to the background music in a new movie or series and remember it for a later review. After all, I now very often recognize the composer of a movie and can roll my eyes when I catch him recycling his earlier works for his new soundtrack.
by the way, the sheet of music above is the terranigma song evergreen 😉