When I was little, family gatherings were defined by music. From my grandfather and his brothers who sang Barbershop quartet, to my mother and her sisters who’s harmonies drew us all together, and my father - a gorgeous lower register tenor - would croon to us. Then the rest of us cousins (vocalists, guitarists, pianists, drummers) would offer our musical sacrifices. Music was our definition.
So, as a writer, music isn’t just a step in my process; It is the origin of my process. Music transports me, swirls like a sound cosmos, effervesces inside my brain and inspires my creativity. And then I tell the story.
When I was little and a classical piece was playing, my mom would say: What’s the story? We would close our eyes and listen to the undulation of the melody, the kinship of the instruments, the rise and fall of the music from beginning to climax to conclusion, and when it was over, we’d tell the story.
Try it. Find a piece you like, close your eyes, and watch the story in your mind. Then write it down.