Music is all around us. How many songs do you think you hear in a day? I mean, there’s the music we choose to listen to and the music that plays in the background of our lives. You know, the music in commercials, on the radio, in grocery stores, and in shopping malls. It’s everywhere.
For many, music is a part of who they are. It resonates with them, identifies them. It’s an intrinsic part of who they are.
What does music say about your character?
How does it aid in their character development?
Character Development: Why You Need to Know Your Character’s Taste in Music
Whether or not your character ends up listening to music in your actual novel, knowing what songs they would listen to can help you learn more about your character. For this writing prompt, make a list of at least 25 songs that would appear on your character’s favorite playlist.
If you are unsure of where to start, the following questions will help you build your character’s playlist.
What do you already know about your character? What does their personality say about the kind of music they would listen to?
A word about stereotypes—your main character might look like a total punk rocker but love classical music and despise rock-n-roll. Or maybe the character is super preppy but has a secret obsession for rap music. Every character should have an unexpected personality trait, and music can be a great way to make that happen.
How do they listen to their music? Are they old-school and still using a CD player, an mp3 player or a Walkman? Or is it all on their phone and computer?
How they listen to music can be a character development tool as well. Do they listen to modern music on an older device because the device has sentimental value? Are they always seeking the newest way to listen to music because they feel the need to show off?
Who influences the music they listen to? Are they listening to the latest hits trying to impress someone at school, or do they just listen to what their friends and family are listening to? Do they go out and find lesser-known artists and songs, trying to set their own trends?
Who your character gets their music from can also shape their character development. Do they struggle to make friends and use music to console them and help them not feel so lonely? Or does music connect them to friends and family?
With these questions in mind, you are well on your way to writing your character’s playlist!
Comment below with a song on your character’s playlist and what it says about your character.