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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

When It's Made Into a Movie, This Will Be the Soundtrack

I know a lot of people write to music. It makes sense - what better way to get yourself into a certain mood, or be inspired by someone else's inspirational lyrics, and so on and so forth. "What do you write to?" seems to be a popular question every time writing comes up in a group of people.

99% of the time, I don't have music going in the background as I write. Firstly, as I learned in college, I cannot write one set of words while listening to another set of words. (In a song, that is; I have the TV on in the background right now and that doesn't seem to be a problem as I write this blog post. I think it has something to do with the rhythm or the knowing what's coming up next.) On the very rare occasions I put music on as I write, it's always instrumental.

Secondly, as I'm sure I've mentioned somewhere in this blog before, I'm a musician. Like, degrees-in-music-have-gotten-paid-money-for-performing musician. If I put a piece of music on to listen to, guess where my focus goes? Music has never really functioned as background noise to me; listening usually more of a conscious activity. It's probably a miracle I don't get into more car accidents with the radio on.

Now with all that out of the way, that doesn't mean there's zero connection between music and my writing. Like the rest of the writing world, I'm sure, I'm reminded of songs and pieces as I create my characters and scenes. Music is such an emotional experience, there's bound to be someone before me who's already captured what I'm trying to put into words in a different form. Just for fun, I created a playlist with music that's tied to my current project in my head. (I say "tied to" because I'm not sure if the music makes me think of the story or the story makes me think of the music; it's a two-way street.) I doubt I'll ever play it while I'm actually writing, but I like making lists, I can keep adding to it, and I can always put it on while I'm knitting or cleaning or something. And if other people like it (both the playlist and the eventual book), even better!

The Fall of the Midnight Scorpions writing playlist!


  1. I have a soundtrack on my iTunes for a couple of stories I've written. It's funny to go back and hear the songs. Sometimes I wonder how a particular song even fit with the story.

  2. I didn't know you were a musician! (or I did and immediately forgot)

    I have a generic "writing playlist" that I created for my very first NaNoWriMo, and I have some playlists that are novel specific; especially if I'm evoking a specific era (the 70's, say) or culture (bikers), I feel music really helps me tap visceral thoughts/feelings I have about such things and helps me (I hope) write more evocatively.

  3. I write to silence most of the time, too. If I play music, it needs to be instrumental or something I'm really familiar with.

    I have one story in my arsenal that has a playlist. It's perfect for the story...or will be if I ever write it. Lol! There are a couple of stories I wrote theme songs for that I like to play before I sit down to write. :) I'm no musician, but I get a kick out of it.