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Zozma

Songs That Created Characters

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I have super strong ties to reading, writing, and music. The three are just tightly intertwined for me. Often, I create characters with a song as a background "theme" or "prompt" but I also hear songs that I attach strongly to characters after initial creation that help shape their story and character further as I write them. 

 

For one character, Sia's The Whisperer shaped my assassin character that was in love with a fellow assassin. They grew up together, learning to kill, learning to hide their emotions, to act like completely different people to go undercover, get their work done, and go on. Every single lyric in her song connected to this plot and these two characters. 

 

I love creation stories attached to music so I'd love to hear some of yours!

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For my mercenary, Chago "El Moreno", I got inspired by the song "La Cruz de Santiago" by Mago de Oz, about a mercenary (there are rumours it's Alatriste), which gave me his name (Santiago), a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in his past (hence the cross of Santiago as the most treasured possession), military background and blades as favourite weapons.

 

For Maribel, I was inspired by "Carmen, la de Ronda". If I found on youtube at that time a song I had heard only at the Radio, and its lyrics, she might have been named Manuela and had a slightly different background. (I found it many years later - it's with Patxi Andion.)

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Oh my god I LOVE when this happens, honestly. I have playlists for all my characters and their ships, and sometimes things hit me as muse songs and then give me so many things.

 

So, for the one I'm listening to right now, my grungy genderfluid prophet-

-'The Beer' by Kimya Dawson, 'Constant Headache' by Joyce Manor, 'Dizzy on the Comedown' by Turnover, 'Nerve' by The Story So Far, 'Teenage World' by The Mountain Goats, 'Cherry Bomb' by Joan Jett, 'The Boredom is the Reason I Started Swimming, It's Also The Reason I Started Sinking' by The Front Bottoms, 'Machine Gun' by Portishead, 'Troublemaker Doppelganger' by Lucy Dacus, 'Rockit' by The Gorillaz, 'Blood in the Cut' by K.Flay, and 'One of the Drunks' by Panic at the Disco all influenced me in really weird ways from various original ideas I'd had! I know that seems like a lot but like, it's true RIP. I also feel like listing all these gives a pretty solid idea of that character too, wow

 

'Nerve' especially influenced me for their relationship with their abusive uncle, whereas a few of the songs influenced me to their partier ways, some songs gave me thoughts for their visions, etc. It's a lot of little things most of the time but nonetheless fun!!! I love being a maladaptive daydreamer sometimes.

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One of my friends once took this idea to its literal extreme,  and had an RP (that unfortunately didn't last long)  where we played characters im a fantasy world that were inspired by metal or hard rock songs. Mine was a Viking Princess and her inspiration song was Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin. 

 

Most of the time though I have the opposite happen.  If I listen to a totally unrelated song a lot while writing for a certain plot,  I'll associate the two forever. 

Edited by Sanghelios
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I have a character named Julian (funny story, there are multiple Julians in my friend-circle), who was created originally in answer to a want ad someone else posted on a site far far away. Anyway, he latched onto Michael Jackson's "Heaven Can Wait," and didn't let go. He is basically that song personified (in his original incarnation, which I can finally play again, he'd died in a car accident, gotten upstairs, flipped god off, and deliberately went back to earth for his boyfriend - god just kind of went, "Yep, called it," and made him his boyfriend's guardian angel, essentially).

 

We also had some weirdfun Aizen/Ichimaru shipping going on in our Bleach RP, and they decided their ship song was Coldplay's "The Scientist" (if you know anything about either character, that makes all the sense).

 

I'm 99% sure, Kassand(ros/er) actually rooted in AFI's "The Leaving Song," both part 1 and part 2.

 

I also have the thing Sanghelios has; I listened to Ellie Goulding's "Starry-Eyed" while reading The Black Jewels Trilogy for an entire day, once, just as background noise, and that song is forever now associated with BJT. Likewise, I listened to Death Cab for Cutie's "We Looked Like Giants," while reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and now, yep, forever, that song conjures memories of HP (but at least that sort of makes sense, incidentally).

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All of my boys are based on the tenets of the titular Oliver Twist.  Folk ballads I have sung in the past are what's shaped them.  On @Arceus's Bleach board, my male soprano's parents are/were from tunes like Andrew Lammie, A Rose in April, Auchanachie Gordon, and "Matt" Hyland.  I have literally cried whilst drawing up his biography.  Even now, I look to them to set the unfortunate stage.

 

The Roman Catholic opera Il Sant'Alessio (1631) by Stefano Landi has given me the courage to make bolder concepts.  It's tedious trying to help people understand where I am coming from.  Despite essays to translate him with a realistic play-by, I'm taking my chances back to the initial niche.  Historically minded, I may be, but for Thoven Chorster, historical fiction is an overwhelming genre.

Edited by Jacob
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I'm sure I've done this more than once, but off the top of my head, I've named two characters from song titles. "Wish" by Nine Inch Nails and "Judith" by A Perfect Circle. However, neither of these characters are inspired by the actual song lyrics; I just liked the titles as character names.

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Terrible Things by Mayday Parade did my head in, the characters and plot that me and a friend created based off of that song was even harder coping with knowing how things were going to end. 

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I can't really say that any of my PC characters are directly inspired by individual songs, but I've used them as inspiration for NPCs a boatload of times. 

I usually pick my songs by the concept, scene, or dynamic that I /need/ though - therefore a lot of times I'll end up using songs from musicals. 

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Hmmm it's rare for me that a single song inspires a character, and more like a single artist does. Like I'll put on a certain album sometimes when I'm trying to write a certain character. Except for one character, which was inspired by Filter's "Nice Shot, Man", who was this sort of immortal demon-person that had been trapped in a ruin for centuries and was then set free. Just the building quiet and then loud sound of that song fit really well.

 

One thing I've tried once, and always wanted to do again, was making a whole roleplay that used music somehow. Have every post, or maybe every scene, have a sort of soundtrack to it. Just like a movie. 

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I've never created an OC because of a song. But I did decide to pick up Peter Quill, a Marvel canon, on a site I was on because of Imagine Dragon's song Next to Me. It really portrayed my idea of his romantic relationship with Gamora. Which I ship hardcore, so I was delighted when I quickly got a Gamora to write with!

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Bjork's Oceania inspired my little deep sea monster. I talk about her in Deep Sea's thread about unused characters. 

 

The entire song is about the ocean goddess and how she views the world around her and her children. The main lines in the song that really struck out to me were:

 

'You count the centuries, I blink my eyes.'

 

and

 

'Your sweat is salty, I am why'

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I'm not that into music to be honest, but I listen to a lot of instrumentals while writing. Gnus Cello is basically the backdrop to all my posts so I can write without all the distractions of my noisy kids. 😂

 

Some songs do become the 'muse' for certain characters though. 'High Hopes' by Panic! At the Disco is my go to for writing Isidore. A lot of the time I write very angsty men, so just putting Imagine Dragons on repeat works for them. My carpenter/smuggler Peregrine especially flows to Thunder.

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The song 'Master of the Seas' from Ice Age: Continental Drift inspired me to create not only a character, but an entire plot. 

 

It was my last day of spring break my junior year, and the day before I had to take the ACT for the first time. I was super nervous, but also excited. It was nice outside, my mom was BBQ-ing so I was hyped for some pork chops, and I was in my room and decided that the only good thing on TV was that movie. So I hear that song, and suddenly I decide, "I want to do a pirate RP." So I put my earbuds in, listen to that song, and create Abraham Padgett Sharp. Ironically, while that song is about the best pirate, Abraham is the worst pirate, aside from the fact that he can breathe underwater and is a human GPS.

 

A bunch of (older) Lady Gaga songs and the Frozen soundtrack definitely inspired my character Casey.

 

Nine Is God by Wavves inspired my character Somebody (and for the longest time was his only theme song)

 

I could probably think of more honestly, music does inspire a lot of what I do.

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