roh morgon

~music to write by & AW’s May Musical Blog Chain

Yay! It’s finally my turn on the Absolute Write May Musical Blog Chain. There’s something to be said for being last!

Aheïla started the chain with the question, “What does your story/character(s) sound like?” She offered the following guidelines: “You can take this from any angle: what do you listen to when you write, which song summarizes your story the best, etc.”

Hmm. Well, for me, the best place to start is at the beginning.

I woke up one morning with a character in my head showing me her lonely existence on the fringes of human society. As Sunny unveiled her story, I became obsessed in the efforts to write it down. That might not sound unusual, except I’d never written anything before.

That was the beginning of a new chapter in my life, which quickly narrowed down to night after night of manic writing, generally getting only 2-4 hours of sleep before heading off to work the next day. Watcher became my life as the story poured incessantly into my head.

During that five, very unreal months, I discovered how much music – always a big part of my life – enhanced my writing. I initially wrote to wordless instrumental songs…

Well, I must confess. It was actually the Twilight score – not the popular soundtrack, but the haunting background music by Carter Burwell. It provided the eerie feel of the nonhuman creatures I was writing about, with both soft romantic interludes and violent crescendos that matched the scenes playing in my head.

Then my son introduced me to Nine Inch Nails. I was familiar with a couple of their popular songs, but though a longtime Tool fan, I’d never paid much attention to NIN. My son filled my new iPod with NIN and I discovered a depth to Trent Reznor’s music that went way beyond Closer (the ‘animal’ song).

As I was editing Watcher, I kept finding track after track of quiet and deeply emotional music by NIN. I discovered even more on the NIN remix site.

Trent Reznor, ever rebellious, makes his music available for fans to download, remix, and upload – in fact, he not only encourages it, but uploads his own remixes as well. What makes this phenomenal is that not only is it available to the public, but it’s all free as long as all the artists are credited and no one profits from it.

My ‘soundtrack’ for Watcher consists of dozens of songs and I’m constantly on the lookout for more. But what I’ve done for this post is to list the songs that are tied to a few of the more important scenes in the book. Many of them are Nine Inch Nails in origin, but there are also a few Incubus songs on this list – their mood and lyrics seem particularly suited to this story.

But before you begin, I need to add one little tidbit about some of the weirdness that entered my life while writing the story of Sunny and Nicolas.

The novel was almost complete when I discovered a song that sent chills down my spine. Why? Because the singer was singing about Nicolas – my Nicolas – who had been hammering his story at me for the last half a year. The song is called Sleeping with a Vampyre by Brigitte Handley and The Dark Shadows. It not only describes his physical appearance perfectly, but his behavior and attitude as well. It really creeped me out. Still does. Makes me wonder how many women he visits in their dreams…

You can listen to it here:

So that said, I invite you on a brief journey of Watcher through music that expresses the rollercoaster of emotions in this story. If you don’t have much time to listen to all of them, then at least listen to the theme song for Watcher. It’s called Leavin’ Hope, Still and is a Nine Inch Nails remix by Justin St.Charles. This is a sad but beautiful instrumental love song which, to me, is a perfect tribute to Sunny and Nicolas.  It’s Track #4 on the main player.


Be sure to check out the other participants in the AW May Musical Blog Chain. They all use and relate to music differently in their writings and offer a wonderful variety of music samples:

Aheïla: and direct link to my blog chain’s post
Stefanie Gaither: and direct link to the blog chain’s post
AuburnAssassin: and direct link to her post
xcomplex: and direct link to her post
Proach: and direct link to her post
8thSamurai: and direct link to her post
vfury: and direct link to her post
CScottMorris: and direct link to his post
Hayley E. Lavik: and direct link to her post
FreshHell: and direct link to her post
LadyMage: and direct link to her post
DavidZahir: and direct link to his post
Aimée Laine: and direct link to her post
egoodlett: and direct link to her post
Semmie: and direct link to her post
Sbclark: and direct link to her post
Razibahmed: and direct link to his post
ArcticFox: and direct link to her post
Lilain: and direct link to her post
Truelyana: and direct link to her post
CowgirlPoet: and direct link to her post
defyalllogic: and direct link to her post
IrishAnnie: and direct link to her post
Anarchicq: and direct link to her post
Harri3tspy: and direct link to her post
roh morgon @ Monday, 31 May 2010 9:18 am
Comments (19)


  1. Your book sounds really fascinating but I keep wondering about all of the many betrayals.

    But mostly, your blog is just so beautiful to look at, especially your header. Nice.

    Comment by Claire Gillian — Monday, 31 May 2010 @ 5:13 pm

  2. I find that the quieter NIN gets with their music, the more it reaches to the listener. Is why I love it.

    Comment by Katherine — Monday, 31 May 2010 @ 6:40 pm

  3. Your story sounds good and I’ve really enjoyed this playlist. Great post.

    Comment by Sonya Clark — Monday, 31 May 2010 @ 8:44 pm

  4. NIN rocks! I love that you’re soundtrack is heavy with NIN. The sound of a particular artist or band is so important to continuity and when you latch on to one, it’s hard to let go.

    And I love Chevelle. “I Get It” is a rockin’ diddy. The anger gets me revving. Oh, but there’s a list of those angry songs perfect for writing!

    I will have to check out the Twilight soundtrack. I’m always on the lookout for good instrumental music. If Twilight has some good stuff, I’ll check it out.

    Love live Trent!

    Comment by Abby — Tuesday, 1 June 2010 @ 6:46 am

  5. Crap. Meant Long Live Trent!

    Day after the holiday… my brain is all a mush.

    Comment by Abby — Tuesday, 1 June 2010 @ 6:47 am

  6. Claire: Betrayals, yes. Some small and subtle, other not so. And it’s difficult to guage whether or not Nicolas intends them all, as he is desperate for her. But he is accustomed to getting what he wants…

    Thanks for the compliment on the blog. I like it better than my website (which is currently being revamped.)

    Comment by Roh Morgon — Tuesday, 1 June 2010 @ 8:41 am

  7. Katherine: Yeah. Trent’s depth is amazing. You should check out the remix site – it’s in the main menu at the top of the page.

    Also check out his new band with his wife, Mariqueen, and Atticus Ross, How To Destroy Angels. I’ve included one of their songs in the playlist.

    Comment by Roh Morgon — Tuesday, 1 June 2010 @ 8:43 am

  8. Abby: If you love NIN, then you should check out their remix site. It’s listed in the menu bar at the top of

    Also check out Trent’s new band, How To Destroy Angels.

    As for the Twilight music, I was referring to the instrumental-only score by Carter Burwell, not the soundtrack (which contains songs by Muse, Paramore, etc).

    Comment by Roh Morgon — Tuesday, 1 June 2010 @ 8:46 am

  9. Mine too. Can’t work…

    Comment by Roh Morgon — Tuesday, 1 June 2010 @ 8:47 am

  10. Sonya: Thanks!

    Comment by Roh Morgon — Tuesday, 1 June 2010 @ 9:20 am

  11. That’s a fantabulous ending for the blog chain.
    I like how you’ve brushed your plotline with quick phrases and leave all the actual telling to your soundtrack.
    And that’s my kind of soundtrack. 😉

    Comment by Aheïla — Tuesday, 1 June 2010 @ 2:08 pm

  12. Aheïla: Thanks for your comments. And thank you for hosting this awesome blog chain! As you can tell, music is very important to me and my writing.

    Comment by Roh Morgon — Tuesday, 1 June 2010 @ 2:22 pm

  13. Wow, that may be the most detailed soundtrack yet. I haven’t listened to NIN in years, but I’m looking forward to listening through your story!

    Comment by Harriet M. Welsch — Tuesday, 1 June 2010 @ 2:53 pm

  14. Harriet: I’m laughing, because that is the short list. I have many more songs, each that belong to a key scene. My only trouble with this post was narrowing down my choices.

    And the NIN? This may be stuff you’ve never heard, as well as the song from Trent’s new band, How To Destroy Angels.


    Comment by Roh Morgon — Tuesday, 1 June 2010 @ 3:07 pm

  15. Nice dark, ethereal play list. i really like NIN. great stuff! Also love your header.

    Comment by Danielle (Arctic Fox) — Wednesday, 2 June 2010 @ 12:03 pm

  16. Oh, thanks for pointing this out! I love the way you laid this out. My WiPs all follow music as well. And, you know I have serious love for NIN and Incubus. Funnily, Black Heart Inertia is the song that describes Jake’s feelings for Kasia to a T. But the book is based around Echo.

    Love your music list – all of it. Some of my favorite bands besides the two above. I get a lot of good stuff from Shinedown and Three Days Grace, too.

    Awesome post. Thanks again :-)

    Comment by Tara W. — Wednesday, 2 June 2010 @ 12:28 pm

  17. Tara: thanks for visiting. Having seen your music list, I thought you might enjoy this one!

    And I’ll be sure to check out Shinedown and Three Days Grace.

    Comment by Roh Morgon — Wednesday, 2 June 2010 @ 2:08 pm

  18. Great post! I find it interesting what you said about the song that was your character…exactly. Glad to know that I’m not the only one who has had those experiences! It’s really amazing when that happens. :)

    Nice looking blog btw. I love it. You have a very different format, very unique. Makes me want to switch to WordPress. :)

    Comment by Ruth — Saturday, 5 June 2010 @ 7:40 am

  19. Ruth: Thanks so much for your comment on the music. It’s funny how I tend to examine any songs I hear for its relevancy to my WIP. Talk about being immersed in a fantasy world!

    And thanks for the compliment on my blog! I did have to do a little bit of coding to tweak the appearance (i.e., lowercase titles, font colors, etc), but it was pretty easy to set up. And it’s easy to add the subsections to the columns. There are hundreds of cool themes out there – you should check them out!

    Comment by Roh Morgon — Monday, 7 June 2010 @ 7:53 am

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