For most of my life, I've listened to music FOR the lyrics. I love clever, interesting lyrics. They are what often make or break or song for me. Of course I have to like the music, too. But the music just blends together into the background. My husband (a drummer) will sometimes go on about how he likes a particular drum fill or a guitar part, but all I really notice or care about are the words. And so it is with my writing. I have typically been a dialogue-first writer. My notes are often pages upon pages of unattributed dialogue absent of setting, action, or... anything else. Then when I type it up, I go back and put everything in to make it a real scene. It takes me several tries to get it right, and I still feel like my setting is lacking.

Lately, I've started doing things a little differently. Dialogue is still what drives many of my scenes, but I've started including many more of the important details in my first drafts. (Things like the expressions on character's faces, movements, and interior monologue.) If I'm feeling lazy, I'll sometimes makes notes to myself like [physical description] or [interior monologue] so that I'll know that I have to come back to it. I'm finding that my scenes are starting out better and my revisions are easier. I really feel like my writing is gradually improving as a result.

So, today, I was driving into work, listening to a Death Cab for Cutie CD. I sang along with the clever lyrics. And then I noticed that I was able to hear the individual parts of the song. Piano. Guitar. Percussion. I could hear them all. The song was so much deeper and richer than I'd ever noticed.

I'm not saying there is any type of real connection to the fact that I've recently started mixing up my writing style and am now hearing, actually hearing the music in the songs. But I did find it an interesting parallel.