Fight Music

May 28, 2010 | Personal

Writing fantasy usually means writing a certain amount of fight scenes, it seems. Writing fantasy action adventure means that times ten.

I love it, really. If I could write action movies for a living, I would in a heartbeat. I love epic fights, and huge odds, and danger and excitement. Every time I send my characters into the firing line, I can visualise it all – every strike and leap, every random act of badassery. I’m not sure if it works on paper, and I’m not even sure what I’m aiming for, but I do know that it is awesome inside my head.

When I write action, I need a soundtrack.

The right music sets my mind racing. Different songs for different things, different themes and scenes and feelings, but each one will light up my imagination and turn a flat fist fight into rip-roaring chaos. It’s part of my creative process; I believe without a doubt that I couldn’t have even come up with the initial idea for the Novel if I didn’t have a particular song, even a particular riff, to listen to. Here’s a few of my favourites:

Foo Fighters’ The Pretender. There’s something raw about it, something desperate and angry and perfect for vicious, bloody, last stand fights.

What if I say I’m not like the others
What if I say I’m not just another one of your plays
You’re the pretender
What if I say that I’ll never surrender

The whole song is wailing, screaming pain. I love it.

Nightwish’s Ghost Love Score. One of the original theme songs for the Novel, in fact; I always envisioned making a trailer using this, and some of the best scenes – well, the ones I like, whether they’re good or not is up for debate – were at least a little bit inspired by it. It’s probably the most epic song Nightwish have ever done.

My fall will be for you
My love will be in you
If you be the one to cut me
I will bleed forever

It’s a blend of soaring orchestra and thumping rock; blood-roaring, uplifting, head-rushing.

Ok Go’s Here It Goes Again. No, really. Strange at it may seem, this song is the perfect blend of fast, trippy beats to play over my bar room brawls and chase scenes! It’s got the right amount of happy, comical bouncing, like Benny Hill but less ridiculous and more chaotic.

Just when you think that you’re in control
Just when you think that you’ve got a hold
Just when you get on a roll
Here it goes, here it goes, here it goes again

I can’t help liking it a lot. It’s got treadmills, remember, making it doubly awesome.

Someday, if I’m excessively bored, I think I might put together a top ten list of the soundtrack to the Novel. Then people can read the book, and listen to the songs at the same time – and get an insight into my frequently deranged way of thinking.