by Wendy Nikel
Recently, while I was looking through the five years' worth of documents I've kept on THE CONTINUUM prior to its publication, I stumbled across the playlist I made while I was working on it.
Although nowadays, I've gotten used to writing anywhere, regardless of what else is going on, when I first started writing, it was helpful to me to find a song to help me get into the tone and mood I wanted to convey in certain scenes. And to keep the tone throughout the story consistent, I often chose one favorite band for the whole novel. For THE CONTINUUM, that band of choice was one of my personal favorites, The Smashing Pumpkins.
So grab your copy of THE CONTINUUM, turn up the speakers, and join me as I walk through the songs that inspired the scenes!
Chapters 1 & 2
Time is never time at all / You can never ever leave / Without leaving a piece of youth
Fans of this song will probably remember the turn-of-the-century, George Méliès-inspired music video that went along with it, which makes it the perfect inspiration for Elise's trip into 1912.
Porcelina of the Vast Oceans
She waits for me there / With seashell hissing lullabyes / And whispers fathomed deep inside my own / Hidden thoughts and alibis / My secret thoughts come alive
This scene takes place upon a vast ocean, and the music mirror's the point-of-view character's own rise from melancholy and despair to determination and action.
Chapter 4 - 7
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
This instrumental piece is one of my personal favorites, and one that I think really works well for Elise's mood in these chapters as she's returning to her familiar world, but with some things weighing heavily on her mind, things that she wish would have gone differently.
Chapters 8 - 10
Bullet with Butterfly Wings
And what do I get for my pain? / Betrayed desires and a piece of the game
What better song to rage against a situation that's completely out of control, where Elise is trapped, with no options and nothing she can do about it than this rage-filled rock ballad?
Chapters 11 - 14
The End is the Beginning is the End
Is it bright where you are? / Have the people changed? / Does it make you happy you're so strange
In a strange new, world where nothing's familiar, everything is disorienting, especially when there's time travel involved, and this song gives a great sense of the strange wonder that Elise feels in this unexpected situation.
Chapters 15 - 21
Consume my love, devour my hate / Only powers my escape / The moon is out, the stars invite / I think I'll leave tonight
In these chapters, Elise encounters another character who, in my mind, has this as his theme song. He only wants to be free, to escape that which he knows is coming for him, and because of that, they end up butting heads.
Chapters 22 - 24
Apocalyptic means are lost among our dead / A message to our friends to get out
The clock is ticking and Elise knows what she has to do, but that doesn't make it any easier, particularly when there are those who would stop at nothing to see the catastrophe through.
I forget to forget me / I forget to forget, you see / Nothing is important to me
Forgiveness is an important theme of this chapter, as is the idea that it's sometimes more difficult to forgive ourselves than it is to forgive other people.
It's up to you, you know / The things you want to hold / Are in pieces
There's a lot that comes crashing down in this chapter — things that were meant to be unbreakable that shatter and characters' resolve that weakens. And yet there's a feeling of hope in this song, too, a longing for something beyond that I think fits well with this chapter.
I've journeyed here and there and back again / But in the same old haunts, I still find my friends / Mysteries not ready to reveal, sympathies I'm ready to return
Characters tend not to come out of a story the same person they go into it as. That growth and new understanding is essential for a good character arc, but a lot of times it means facing things about themselves that aren't easy.
Similarly, thinking back on the person I was when I first started this story, I had a lot to learn still, and I'm grateful to have the opportunity to share with the world the fruit of those labors. Thank you to everyone who's encouraged and supported me along the way!
I hope you enjoy THE CONTINUUM!
World Weaver Press
Publishing fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction.