I can’t really write while listening to music. Music is an intense, involved activity. So is writing. Normally, I can only do one at a time. Nevertheless, I still have a writing playlist which I listen to while doing dishes, or driving somewhere, and these songs serve the same purpose as they do for those writers who can listen to music while they write. They bring a certain emotion or imagery to the fore, and help clarify subtleties of character and atmosphere.
So here is one song from my playlist:
This song is unusual in that it actually represents a scene that is not in any of the books, but which embodies who, what, and where a certain character is at the beginning of the story. This character has nowhere to go. They have been shunned by their own, and by everyone else they’ve encountered. They know themselves to be rejected by both the human and (their version of) the divine. They want to go home, but that is not an option, and not the solution. They want to ignore the problem, but there it is staring them in the face whenever they are quiet and still for even one moment.
And then (when the song breaks into its more modern, rocky tone) they are presented with a violent distraction to their conundrum, which enables the character to put off looking the problem in the face…if only just for a little longer. Of course the so-called distraction eventually serves to force that character to face the same problem again and again and again, until that character makes a choice, until they can change, and (perhaps) find resolution.
This particular character is also a somewhat violent and untrustworthy character, so the first half of the song indicates a sliver of vulnerability and uncertainty which does not actually manifest in the story for a long, long time.
Note: the main line in the first and middle part of the song translates to “My lover speaks a foreign tongue, and lisps in Arabic.” This is outrageously applicable to this character, but it would take an age and all kinds of spoilers to explain why. However, when I first tried to understand that line, I thought it said “My lover speaks a foreign tongue and bites in Arabic.” That may not make any sense, and I surely don’t think that is the proper translation, but I kinda wished that was the actual line, because that was likewise unbelievably applicable.
No one in the story speaks Arabic, by the way–it is a fantasy world with made up languages–but languages and dialects are very, very important. To me. And to the story.
Enjoy the song!