Welcome to the second installment of suggestions for music to writer by. This week the focus is on writing the death scene.
Death scenes can be overdone, think of those old western films with the hero dying in the arms of his friend and managing the words 'tell Mamma I love her'. Obviously this is the type of thing you want to avoid, unless you are aiming for something comical.
What you need to be aiming for is to rouse the emotion in your reader but not to make it cheesey. Remember this scene, in a similar way to a love scene, will either bring an end to ongoing events or could cause further events as a consequence.
Before you write the death scene itself you must develop the right kind of relationship between the reader and your characters. It is this that will have the most influence on how the reader reacts to the death scene. Remember if your reader does not care for a character they will not find their death emotional.
Once you are confident you have built your characters enough you can aim to get the right note for your death scene. Try to put delve into your emotions, and instill this into your writing.
On to the music suggestions, my first suggestion is Imagine by John Lennon. It may be an obvious choice but listening to this song and the words should hopefully stir within you the appropriate emotions. The Scientist by Coldplay also has some strong lyrics and a soft melody. Personally I have always found White Flag by Dido an emotional song and I would imagine this would be appropriate listening to get you in the mood.
Other suggestions for you to try are:
Mad World by Gary Jules
Everybody Hurts by REM
My Immortal by Evanescence
Take me Somewhere Nice by Mogwai
These Are The Days of Our Lives by Queen
Streets of Philadelphia by Bruce Springsteen