Soundtracks to Your Writing

Hey all!  One of my goals for this year (note: goals, not resolutions) is to update this blog more often.  I have more ideas than I think I do for it, so I’m hoping for at least 2 a week.  If not more.

Things are still going well here.  I’ve actually been writing on Prior Lives again, which is really nice.  I finally started the events that trigger the end of the book, so that’s really neat.  I’ve known exactly where this is going for awhile now, but sometimes its hard to write when you know what is going to happen to a nice character is horrible.

Other than that things are about the same.  I miss college.  It’s weird to admit that.

Writing and Music

These are two things that are very entwined to me.  Music helps me write.  It always has.  However, it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve started classifying music as a “soundtrack” of sorts to my writing.  That’s not the best description…but it still kinda fits.

I have a really eccentric taste in music.  I like folk music to pop to metal.  Of course, it depends on my mood on what I’ll listen to the most.  However, when I’m writing, certain characters require different music.  It helps them speak to me, or the less crazy version, helps me write them.  We’re going to talk a bit about my own writing and how music has helped it because I don’t know other peoples’ writing music!

Why should I care what music I’m listening to when I write?  Clearly Chopin is the best!

While classical music stimulates the brain quite a bit, I don’t think that its the best for writing.  Its the best for learning, but not necessarily being creative.  I’ve noticed that different songs help me capture emotion for scenes, help me capture characters, and help me develop the plot.

For instance, for Opus Aria the song “Show me the Way” by Elis was a huge driving force behind the novel.  It was a song that defined the relationship between Aria and Piano.  Piano has always shown Aria the right way, guiding her mind, body, and soul.  That and it had a really good beat and awesome vocals.  A song that specifically defines Aria is “You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid” by The Offspring.  Aria was always favored as the most successful Opus – and then spoilers spoilers, spoilers spoilers!  Put simply, it fits her journey through the novel and through her own life.    One more example, “Jillian (I’d Give my Heart)” by Within Temptation.  Giving examples of this would be incredibly spoiler-filled.  I listened to it the most at the end of the novel writing process.  It is and always will be one of the most important songs for the book.  At least to me.

So Melodic Metal is the best? That seems to be all you listened to for Opus Aria…

No.  Melodic metal (and some others) is what worked best for Opus Aria.  The current novel I’m working on, temporary name Prior Lives has a much different play list.  One of the main songs for Prior Lives is “The Chemical Worker’s Song (Process Man)” by Great Big Sea.  It is an important song to the novel for multiple reasons, one being that an Adept gets weaker the more they use their powers, and the other having to deal with the government.  Another important song is “Attero Dominatus” by Sabaton.  Again, this song is important on a number of levels, the biggest one being how the Underground Alliance wants to deal with the government.  One of the most important songs for Darien, the protagonist of Prior Lives is “Defying Gravity (Chris Colfer version)”.  It speaks to how she wants to defy…various spoilerific things.  I wish I could get more in depth, but I don’t want to spoil it!  I’ve not finished it and I’ve not put much on deviantART either.

So it really depends on the novel.  Opus Aria was almost all melodic metal with a hint of rock thrown in there at times.  Prior Lives is literally mood whiplash from song to song.  Go with what feels best for the novel, short story, poem, whatever.

So…is this normal?

Yes!  NaNoWriMo had a favorite music spot on the “author information” page.  I took that to mean “favorite music while writing”.  I know of at least one author who uses music to channel characters.  Amelia Atwater-Rhodes.  Somewhere on her forums/old forums it mentioned the soundtracks for certain books.  If you look in the lists long enough you can figure out spoilers!  Though most of the books mentioned are already published, so its not a big deal anymore.  Ramble ramble ramble.

I would also say its an interesting way to stimulate writing.  Certain songs always make me want to do something artistic.  “England” by Great Big Sea, “House on a Hill” by Kamelot, “Mon Ange” by Markize, and “Carnival of Rust” by Poets of the Fall.  Among other songs, but we’d be here forever if I started listing off ALL the songs that have inspired me to write or draw.  On that note, I would recommend the songs I listed in this paragraph and any of the songs I mentioned for Opus Aria or Prior Lives.

On that note, I’m always looking for more music!  So if you have some suggestions, let me know in a comment!

Thanks for reading!

~Laura

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One thought on “Soundtracks to Your Writing

  1. Pingback: Character Songs | Rants from a Starving Writer

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