While writing, I picture each chapter as if it were a movie playing within my head. The words on the paper paint the imagery and express the emotions as the story unfolds. However, an important component of films that is lacking is the music to set the mood. An outstanding soundtrack can elevate a good film to become an amazing cinematic experience.
With the launch of The Buried Symbol, I thought that it would be fun to offer readers this type of experience while reading the book. Below is the soundtrack that I would choose to enhance my story if it were a movie. If you decide to play along, follow the text below and listen to the music as directed. Enjoy.
My Best Theory by Jimmy Eat World
Start the song BEFORE you begin the book. Read the intro text below as My Best Theory plays, but be ready to pause the music at 1:11 mins in:
The Moment BEFORE Chapter 1:
A solitary seabird soars through the night. Hundreds of feet below, the wavering reflection of starlight dances on the rippled surface of the ocean. The bird approaches the pale form of a low cloud bank, so thick that it appears tangible. Without slowing, the bird is engulfed by the wall of fog, the damp air slipping past as it flies blindly through the murk.
The bird dives lower until the tile rooftops of a city begin to take shape. Leveling to fly just above the rooftops, the bird passes over the empty streets of the sleeping city. With two flaps of its wings, the bird gains enough elevation to clear a wall that divides the city. Once over the wall, buildings far more grande than those behind it emerge from within the milky air.
Curling its wings in, the bird slows to land softly on the ridge of a tiled rooftop. With a twitch and a ruffle of its body, moisture flicks off the bird's feathers. Now upon a comfortable perch, the bird sticks its head beneath a wing as it begins to preen itself. The sudden movement of a shooing hand flicking nearby catches the bird's eye, causing it to squawk and take flight. The bird sails off into the mist as the flapping sound of its wings fades into the still night.
Pause song at 1:11 and read CHAPTER 1.
After CHAPTER 1 is finished, listen to the rest of the song as you begin reading CHAPTER 2. The music should finish before you reach any dialog.
Meant to live by Switchfoot
Play the song after CHAPTER 3. Listen to the first verse, thinking about Brock's emotional state. Once the first verse is complete, go ahead and begin reading CHAPTER 4 while the song finishes.
I'm already gone by A Day to Remember
Start the song just before the last paragraph of CHAPTER 10. Once it's over, begin CHAPTER 11.
See me smiling by Yellowcard
Play the song before you begin reading CHAPTER 20.
Pause after the first verse (1:15) and read until the first mid-chapter break.
Play another verse (until 2:18) and pause again as you read until the next mid-chapter break.
Play the end of the song and then finish the chapter after its over.
The Kids in the Dark by All Time Low
Start the song with the fourth paragraph of CHAPTER 25.
Failure by Breaking Benjamin
Start the song after CHAPTER 29. Listen to it until the 2nd verse completes (2:16) and then begin reading CHAPTER 30 while it finishes.
Dare you to move by Switchfoot
I know, I know. Another Switchfoot song. What can I say? Their songs are intended to be inspirational. Play this song right after finishing CHAPTER 49. Let it finish before starting CHAPTER 50.
Starlit Sky by Workday Release
Play this song during or right after CHAPTER 59. Oh, no Brock. What is happening? Let it finish before you begin CHAPTER 60.
Two is better than one by Boys Like Girls
Play song between CHAPTER 72 and CHAPTER 73. Yes, this one is quite sappy. That's how love is sometimes.
My Hero by Foo Fighters
Listen to this after CHAPTER 79. Feel free to begin CHAPTER 80 whenever you wish.
Give me a sign by Breaking Benjamin
Yes, two songs by BB. I like the band and the song works.
Play the song at the mid-chapter break in CHAPTER 87 (page 334). Listen until 1:25 in and pause to read the rest of CHAPTER 87.
Play the song again until 2:52 in and then read CHAPTER 88 until you get to the mid-chapter break on page 338.
Play the end of the song as you read the rest of the chapter. Timing is VERY important on this one. You'll see why if it works out.
My Best Theory by Jimmy Eat World
Play the song at the end of CHAPTER 91. Pause at 1:11 and go on to read the EPILOGUE. After the EPILOGUE, finish the song, imagining final film credits with motion paused scenes similar to SHERLOCK HOLMES (starring Robert Downey Jr.).
That's my soundtrack. Try it out while you read the book. Let me know if you like the idea. Maybe I am starting a new trend for other authors to follow.