Pinning Songs to Text!

Many writers dream of having their works made into movies.  Though movies rarely rival the actual book, it is still a huge honor if Hollywood takes on their creative project. After characters and settings have been chosen, there has to be the perfect music to set the tone for each scene.

I will never forget Roberta Flack singing ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ in an old movie called Play Misty for Me.  Clint Eastwood was walking along with his girlfriend and that song along with the scenes of a waterfront will be forever etched in my mind.  It was such a moving piece for the innocence of the moment.

I recently pinned four songs to scenes from both of my novels, A Golden Leaf in Time Revised and Warm Intrigues on my blog. When I pinned Louis Armstrong’s version of ‘You Will Never Walk Alone’ to a scene from Golden Leaf, it made one of my commenters say that she needed to go back and re-read the book.

After we have written the books, trying to market them is whole other enchilada. We try to come up with new and innovative ways to draw attention to our labors of love.  In the new millennium, we know that colors and sound work and we are thankful for You Tube.   It allows us to find our favorite songs.

The other day, I was observing an 8th grade Language Arts class.  The teacher put the students in groups of four and gave them the lyrics to a song.  She chose songs that had common themes with the book that the class was reading.  Each group had to write their thoughts about the song on a large sheet and share it with the class. But when the teacher played the actual song on You Tube, the students lit up with excitement. It was a great way to end their school week.

I later told her that I had recently tried the same technique when I pinned songs to excerpts from my books.  She liked the fact that we were on the same page.  In one instance, I wanted to use Willie Nelson’s touching version of ‘You Were Always on My Mind.’  I discovered that Elvis had sung it first and his version was quite impressive.  I liked both, but stayed with Willie Nelson for my blog post.

Sometimes, writers are consulted when their works are being made into a movie.  Hollywood does take quite a few liberties with the authors’ works, but at least the story gets out there and reaches those who do not read. So, just in case Hollywood does come a-knocking, it would be a good idea to be prepared.

When the director or producer asks, “What song would you use for this scene?”  First, just pause and look as if you’re thinking. Then, lean over and go into your purse and take out this neatly folded sheet of paper (which has 50 songs on it). Calmly turn back around and say, “Well, let’s see.” And the conversation would begin as you pin those songs to those scenes!

Lynn                                January 26, 2015

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