Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Writing craft: Inspiration in unlikely places

"Where we're from, the birds sing a pretty song and there's always music in the air."

That quote's from the TV show Twin Peaks; the music (revealed in a later episode) is Julee Cruise's "Into the Night". The song, like the others on Cruise's Floating Into the Night CD, is written by David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti.

The other day I was listening to the album on my iPod. I hadn't heard it in years and had forgotten how good it was. But the song "Into the Night", particularly its opening words, not sung but spoken by Cruise - "Now it's dark" - clicked with me and with the scene I'm writing for one of my characters. The music has a feeling of eeriness and isolation that's sad and beautiful at the same time. What I liked most was the ambiguity of the phrase "now it's dark" (it's also spoken several times by Dennis Hopper's character in Lynch's film Blue Velvet). It's almost Zen in its simplicity and can mean so many things. 

That's what writing's all about - not just finding inspiration in unlikely places, but recognizing inspiration when it strikes. Don't question it, just run with it. 

No comments:

Post a Comment