After having to reinstall AOL on the desktop, one of the first things I did was make sure my playlist was still intact. It was. Humungous sigh of relief from me.
Some writers can't work without a picture of someone who reminds them of their characters. For me, it's music. Simon from Orphans in the Storm is Five For Fighting's "Superman." His father, Roderick, an important secondary character, didn't gel until I figured out he was Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying." When I was writing My Outcast Heart Dalby and Tabetha's theme was "Lost in You" by Chris Gaines (aka Garth Brooks) with "It Don't Matter to the Sun" for the angsty parts.
Hearing any of those songs now is like a visit from an old friend, and assembling "soundtracks" for upcoming projects helps set the mood. At present, for a project I'll begin in January, I have James Blunt's "Goodbye My Lover" and "God Give Me Stregnth" by Elvis Costello...for the heroine. Add in Aqualung's "Brighter Than Sunshine" and perhaps a few others I have yet to find. I even have vague ideas about incorporating The Verve Pipe's "The Freshmen" into a story someday, but that's for another day. (But really, wouldn't it be perfect for a tortured hero in Georgian England?)
James Blunt's "http://mp.aol.com/video.index.adp?pmmsid=1130890&referer=http%3A//music.aol.com/artist/five-for-fighting/202346/main&mode=1" plays in my head when Drew from my current WIP, The Wild Rover sees the heroine, Trista, for the very first time. "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield is Trista's personal theme song.
How musical is your muse?