I loved reading Rules We’re Meant to Break (read my 4-star review here), and I am so excited to have Natalie Williamson on the blog today sharing her writing playlist!
Music has always been a huge part of my writing process. I almost always have a writing playlist put together before I start working on a new project. It helps me get into character and start thinking about pivotal scenes long before I actually get them on the page. And listening to music while I draft also helps me tune out any distractions so that I can stay focused on the story during my dedicated writing time.
RULES WE’RE MEANT TO BREAK’s playlist evolved a bit from the first draft to the final version that will be out in the world, and the changes I made along the way helped me shape Amber’s story into a much stronger book than the one I started out with. Here are the tracks I listened to most during my last few rounds of edits, with a few notes about why they were particularly important to Amber’s journey.
“You Build a Wall” by Abandon Kansas
- The lyrics of this song fit Amber to a tee at the beginning of the story. She’s got her list of rules and her walls up high, and it’s going to take the right set of circumstances for her to let her guard down.
“Midnight City” by M83
- There are a lot of scenes in RULES that take place at dusk, or after dark, particularly between Amber and her love interest, Jordan. This song always made me think of their first few scenes together, as they’re feeling each other out and Amber is trying not to acknowledge her attraction to him.
“Into the Ocean” by Blue October
- I listened to this one a lot during the black moment, when everything feels like it’s falling apart for Amber.
“Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon
- This song inspired a particular scene that is very spoilery. Let’s just say there is snow involved, and you’ll know the scene when you get to it. J
“After the Disco” by Broken Bells
- This ended up on the playlist less because of the lyrics and more because of the mood it evoked when I heard it for the first time. I did Pitch Wars with RULES way back in 2014, and during my revisions for my mentor I needed to up the tension and really give Amber a reason to be so frustrated with her situation. Something about the feel of this song really spoke to me, and it helped inspire her list of rules, which had only been casually mentioned in the draft before that point.
“Turn Off This Song and Go Outside” by The Lonely Forest
- I listened to this one when I wrote the scene where Amber takes Buffy on a walk during her first night in her new neighborhood.
“Simple Song” by The Shins
- I’ve just always really loved this one, and there are a few lines in the lyrics that made me think of Amber and Jordan.
“Home” by Gabrielle Aplin
- Set in Stone, the original title I picked out for this book (after months of it being called the very original Amber WIP) came from the lyrics of this song. There’s a line that goes, “home is where your heart is set in stone, is where you go when you’re alone, is where you go to rest your bones.” While the new title fits so much better, this song still always made me think of Amber and the growing list of people in her life who make her feel at home.