#Blogflash2013: Day Twelve – Music and Character Development

  • #BlogFlash2013 (March): Day 12 - Music

#Blogflash2013: Day Twelve – Music and Character Development

Welcome to the second BlogFlash event! The first (#BlogFlash2012) was so well received that we decided to run it twice yearly. It’s a great opportunity to get creative, meet other bloggers and get a new audience. Whether you join us for the full month or just a few days, the main aim is to have fun and be inspired. Anything else is a bonus. Worried about word count? Don’t be! It’s a guideline so the month doesn’t feel overwhelming but if you feel inspired to write more, feel free. Good luck!

Upcoming prompts ~~ Twitter: #BlogFlash2013 ~~ Twitter: @tglong ~~ Facebook: Terri ~~ Facebook: BlogFlash


#BlogFlash2013: Day Twelve – Music and Character Development

#BlogFlash2013 (March): Day 12 - MusicFiguring out the music tastes of my characters is, for me, one of the most interesting aspects of character development. Music taste and preferences say a lot about a character. Is his music taste specific or broad? Is she in sync with popular culture? Does music relax or motivate her? Does he use music to express emotion? Or does music simply blend into the background, unacknowledged?

Through most of my novel In Leah’s Wake, Leah’s music tastes are largely defined by the men in her life, first her father, then her boyfriend. Toward the end, as she regains her confidence, her boyfriend’s music begins to annoy her and, ultimately, she turns to music that speaks to and defines her. This characterizing element, though subtle, runs through the novel and defines each of the characters.

In this brief excerpt from my forthcoming novel, Nowhere to Run, Piper Chase uses music to flirt with Jesse Minot, one of the point of view characters:

Piper Chase

Piper Chase

‘You like music?’ Piper asked.

‘Sure,’ Jesse replied.

‘What kind of music?’

‘All kinds.’

‘You’re making this awful hard, Minot.’

He shrugged. ‘Seventies stuff mostly. Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd…’

‘Seventies? Seriously? I adore the Captain and Tennille.’ She belted out a few bars of ‘Love Will Keep Us Together.’ ‘And Tony Orlando and Dawn? Tie a yellow ribbon,’ she sang, snapping her fingers as she danced up the dirt road. ‘And Englebert Humperdink? We saw him in Vegas last year. Me and my mom. SO dreamy.’

‘Uh, yeah…’

‘We threw our panties at him. All us girls.’ She squeezed her eyes into slits. ‘What?’


‘Oh my god! You don’t like the Captain and Tennille? How could anybody not love the Captain and Tennille? Or Tony Orlando and Dawn? Or Englebert? They’re like cultural icons, Dude.’ She sucked in a breath. ‘Maybe this wasn’t such a hot idea.’

‘What are you talking about?’

‘You know, you and me. Going to my place.’

Jesse Minot

Jesse Minot

He stopped in his tracks. ‘Because we like different music?’

‘Well, kind of. Yeah. I mean, we both like seventies, but you’re into Lynyrd Skynyrd, Me, the Captain and Tennille. Obviously, we don’t have much in common.’

Whatever. He flipped a hand, good riddance, and turned back toward the suite. ‘See ya around.’

What the hell? She was laughing now. At him. That was one messed up chick.

‘Minot,’ she called. ‘Where you going? Jesse? Come back.’

Forget about it.

Behind him, he heard a tap, tap, tap, like a squirrel, and then there she was, right alongside him. ‘Jess-e,’ she sang, skipping backward. ‘What? Gonna ignore me now?’ She shuffled sideways, blocking his path. When he attempted to go around her, she went all Mohammed Ali, floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee. She punched his arm playfully, and then she rubbed her hand as if she’d smacked a brick wall. ‘Whatcha got in there, Minot? Steel?’

‘What are you doing, Piper? What do you want from me?’

‘You thought I actually liked those old farts? Please.’

‘How should I know?’

‘Have a sense of humor already. I was just goofing with you. Look…’ She pointed to a wooden door built into the slope. ‘There it is, my hideaway.’ She grabbed his hand. ‘Want to go in?’

Piper's Secret Hideaway

Piper’s Secret Hideaway

Next prompt: Darkness (19th March)

Taking part? Please leave your post link in comments!

2015-02-05T11:19:08+00:00March 18th, 2013|Categories: #BlogFlash2013, In Leah's Wake|Tags: , |

About the Author:

Terri Giuliano Long, a frequent guest blogger, with appearances on hundreds of blogs, is a contributing writer for IndieReader and also wrote for Her Circle eZine. She lives with her family on the East Coast. Her debut novel, In Leah’s Wake, winner of the Global eBook Award, Popular Fiction, and Indie Discovery Award, Literary Fiction, has sold over 130,000 copies worldwide.


  1. Donna L Sadd March 18, 2013 at 6:42 am - Reply

    Ooh, sounds interesting Terri; I can't wait to read it. Funny, my mom and I saw Humperdink a thousand years ago, and he was an arrogant jerk.
    Here's my take on the prompt:Â&nbsp ;http://donnalsadd.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/blogflash2013-day-12-music/

  2. Lesley Beeton March 18, 2013 at 8:03 am - Reply

    'Do that to me one more time, once is never enough, with a man like you-ooo'
    What a great memory jog from 1980. http://toscienceandbeyond.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/
    I've got Microbial Bepop in my post :-)

  3. tasselflower March 18, 2013 at 8:05 am - Reply

    Music has such a huge impact in our lives, doesn't it? http://mervi.helmikuu.net/2013-03-day-12-music-bl

  4. Miss_Biggun March 18, 2013 at 8:20 am - Reply

    Now that was a bit of a tease, I will have to buy the book now lol

  5. Kimberly Gould March 18, 2013 at 9:13 am - Reply

    Music rarely comes up in my stories. I don't usually define people by their musical tastes, so I hadn't thought to do so. I have no doubts one plot, sooner or later, will have a musical buff in it and that will change! http://kimmydonn.com

  6. carlie2011c March 18, 2013 at 10:10 am - Reply

    Although I use music to inspire me when I write, I haven't used it to define my characters – yet. Love the excerpt, Terri!  In my take on today's prompt, music is getting under someone's skin. http://wp.me/p1UhOl-kf

  7. A_K_Taylor March 18, 2013 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    Sometimes music does enter my mind for different characters at different times or even in an action scene. I am a very visual writer and I picture the scene and people in my head like a movie during the first stages and then I later add things, or get to the nit-picky stuff like spelling,

  8. LibraryGirlRead March 18, 2013 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    Great excerpt Terri. Thank you for sharing how you use music in creating your characters. That was really interesting.
    The Pursuit of Cool by Robb Skidmore uses a lot of 80's music and movie to shape and define the main character.
    Here is my take on music for today: http://librarygirlreads.blogspot.com/2013/03/musi

  9. Aria Glazki March 18, 2013 at 6:01 pm - Reply

    One of the most difficult scenes for me was having a character describe what music she likes, because it is such an intrinsic yet complicated part of the mix of personality and background. http://ariaglazki.blogspot.com/2013/03/flash-blog

    • tglong March 27, 2013 at 1:52 pm - Reply

      I totally agree, Aria! It can have such a big effect on the overall portrayal of the character.

  10. elenchera March 22, 2013 at 3:23 am - Reply

    Really looking forward to NTR, Terri.
    What a pleasure to have an excerpt.

  11. Leslie Edwards May 18, 2013 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    Music is such a great “to go” place to express stuff. We all do it different;y with different styles but it has a huge impact

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