Two weeks ago, I came to the somewhat depressing decision that I needed to rewrite my book (again) from the beginning. And shortly after starting the rewrite, I stopped and started the rewrite again. I’ve probably done this ten or so times with this book. But now, I really feel like I’m in the right place with it. The Wild Dark has been a difficult write for me in many ways that I thought Memento Mori (my latest release) was. The Wild Dark deals most importantly with friendship, loyalty, humanity, depression, and loss. The protagonist longs for a simpler life, a way to lose herself in ordinary routines so that she doesn’t have to face the death of her best friend and failed relationship with her fiance. This all happens in the wake of a supernatural event that brings a strange transformation to the world she knows and loves.
Like all of my stories, I have a playlist of songs that I listen to when working. For this particular story, I have two: one featuring music with lyrics and one without. The without list is long and from the very beginning, has featured music by respected composer James Newton Howard. The most featured of his music is from M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village Soundtrack, which (in my opinion) has some of the most beautiful music ever composed. The undulating violins and contemplative, tranquil piano effectively take you inside a world filled with characters who wish to live simpler lives, characters who are innocent and have trouble even conceiving wickedness. They are terrorized by legendary creatures that live in the woods around their bucolic village, creatures who have decided that the peaceful truce they’ve shared for many years is now void. The Village is not so much a horror film as it is a romantic one and that is reflected in every track that Howard wrote. Just like The Village, The Wild Dark is more about the love and bond between two friends and where that takes them than it is about the apocalyptic events surrounding them. Today, I’ll be sharing a few songs from Howard’s soundtrack along with what I see when I listen to them.
What Are You Asking Me?: Red leaves falling, twisting in the wind. Air, cold as it is bitter, biting at her skin. The road ahead calls to her, vanishing within the darkening forest. The sun is setting. She knows she will, too, if she doesn’t make it through before darkness falls.
Race to Resting Rock: The farther she steps away from home, the colder it grows, the more she feels the hopeful parts of her begin to curl into themselves. She’d walked this route in the daytime, under the sun’s protective rays. She’d done it time and time again, and had never worried what might come. This was a whole new route, a different road that she’d never walked on. The darkness made it that way.
The Gravel Road: She closes her eyes and hums, hoping that the sound will drown out all the twigs snapping, the strange inhuman growls cloaked in the darkness. She thinks of him waiting for her on the other side, a lantern in hand, his brown knit in concern. All she had to do was not look out there. She just had to keep walking. Soon, she would be in his arms again.
Stay tuned for next week’s Inspiration Through Music!