A really cool writing/music project, Foreshadows.


I met Jeff LaSala the first time I book toured through New York City. During that trip he gave me a copy of a project that he edited. I say project instead of the usual book, because Foreshadows is a sci-fi anthology that includes a soundtrack.

The idea behind Foreshadows is really creative. They enlisted a whole bunch of musicians, who recorded songs. (That CD has been part of my personal writing soundtrack playlist ever since. On its own it is a really good album.) But then they had a bunch of authors listen to the songs, and then each picked their favorite to write a short story using that particular one as a theme/soundtrack. It makes for a really neat effect.

Check it out. It is a very creative and cool project. If you play the videos there, all of the songs are from the soundtrack.

I’m a fan of using music while I write, and also picking out certain songs to serve as themes for certain characters. I’ve just never seen anybody compose new music specifically to inspire stories before.

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12 thoughts on “A really cool writing/music project, Foreshadows.”

  1. I’ve heard of artists being commissioned to write soundtracks for books, but never the other way around before. That’s pretty cool.

  2. That’s part of what made this so much fun to create. We were making up some new rules. “Hey, you. Write a story that fits this music!”

    1. I did that in high school once. It was just a free-writing exercise in English class, but still, fun. I bet the authors had a good time with this.

  3. Music is always intertwined with my writing. Back in college, several artists I was listening to played a huge part in a story’s soundtrack. Now, I’ve got two major ideas, and the main characters each have their favorite artists, and those will help influence the story and characters.

  4. Holy frick! Someone’s actually doing this now!? This is awesome! About eight months to a year ago I wrote a blog post about the new opportunities the digital age afforded to books, and one of the possibilities that came up was actually tying music into the story somehow and selling books that had a soundtrack score, like a movie.

    Now someone’s doing it? This one’s going on my list.

    1. Japan has been doing it for a long…long time.

      Basically look up Visual Novels in general…only they use images too…and have a bad tendency to be porn games…so actually don’t google that.

      But yeah good examples of a sound heavy VN would be
      Umineko the best summary I heard of it was a love letter to murder mysteries(fantasy/mystery/time loop/multiverse). If it didn’t have the sound effects+amazing sound track during some of the logic battles or murder scenes it just wouldn’t of been the same. His other series Higurashi(Japanese Horror) also did something neat where every characters lines were in a different color, one of the characters started out as pink as they lost their sanity thoughout the book it slowly changed to a pure red but you never noticed because the change was so slow. It also did a great job with the slowly increasing until pretty much deafening sound of the crickets muffling out every out sound during some of the scenes. *warning terrible “art”

      Others rely a good bit more on the other uses of the medium to do a vastly superior choose your own adventure such as Steins;Gate which while it has one true ending since the basic premise is college kids figure out a way to send text’s back in time there are lots of moments of you finding things out about the world and what you need to do by messing up.

      The other big advantage is you can do stream of consciousnesses way better and get emphasis and delays across way better when your doing a click to proceed so you can choose to just have a single word on a page for emphasis because who cares it’s not like it’s using up another page. Or you could cover the entire page with crazed laughter and have it start auto scrolling though it and again not worry about eating up a page.

      I have really been hoping one of the super big authors like Steven King would do something like this we have enough e-readers now and those first 2 examples were done by one guy hundreds of hours of reading(Umineko is like 80-100 hours Higurashi is like 60-80) +”art”+contracted out soundtracks to indie soundsmiths.

      There are plenty of good examples but sadly too many(not the ones mentioned above) require you to go though awkward fanservice/porn scenes to get to the part where the Super Robot powered by the Necronomicon is about to punch Chutlu in the face but then Chutlu gets sac’ed to summon a bigger fish and this is just at the start of that scene.

  5. This sounds like a great experiment. No doubt many authors deliberately chose to pick some favorite theme for their character, but this approach is very different. I will be pleased to read such a compilation, while listening to the same music. New media can add some new flavor to the mix. I have assisted to a very interesting panel at the International Festival of Authors, where other options were elaborated.

  6. There’s a couple of freebies on the website called Webshadows. One of which connects the music with the accompanying story.

    This super short story, for example, features one of the characters from the book. Listen the music (there’s a little “play” button on that page). The musician for this one incorporates a few spoken lines from the story in the music, too. Still freaks me out.


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