Music and Writing

There is nothing more satisfying than finding a song that perfectly describes one of your characters, or your current work in progress. Or one that perfectly fits the mood of a scene you’re writing. That is why I am here today to tell you all about the awesomeness that is writing with music.

Disclaimer: I am a person who can listen to music with lyrics while I’m writing.

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*Mild Spoilers in this paragraph!!!! Anyone who hasn’t read Night Night yet, go read it, and then come back. Here’s a link to go grab a copy!

First off, if you don’t have a fully fleshed out backstory for a character, finding the perfect song could fix that. That’s actually what happened for me with Erin’s backstory in Night Night. I was working on some reasons as to why she would have suddenly quit the FBI, and I came across this song and video,  “Tractor” by Granger Smith. BOOM. Backstory inspired.

*Spoilers over*

Next, finding songs that fit with your character’s personality can really help you if you feel disconnected from that character, or if you just need help with their development. Like this playlist I created for Kalyah, the MC of my new novel. As an added bonus, you use the actual search process for songs as a procrastination technique when you don’t feel like writing. You’re still being productive, because you’re working on character development. Right? Right? Right.

Third, finding songs that perfectly match relationships between characters is the best feeling in the world! It’s so satisfying and exciting at the same time! For example, the relationship between the main characters in my new novel, is perfectly described in the song “Cry With You” by Hunter Hayes. One of my personal favorites is actually not related to my characters. I love how the song “They Don’t Know About Us” by One Direction, fits the relationship between Amy Pond and the Doctor. I liked it so much I actually made a video out of it. It’s one of my favorite videos I’ve ever made.

Lastly, listening to songs that fit the mood of the scene you’re writing can push you further into the scene and make it better. On the other hand, if you aren’t careful with your music choice it can also completely throw off your writing. Allow me to give you an example. At the time while I was writing a very depressing section of one of my projects, I was listening to really upbeat, happy music, because that’s what most of my favorite songs at the moment were. What do you think happened when I went back to that section during editing? Yep, a lot of the section had to be rewritten because it was way too happy and upbeat. Not fun. But let me give you a nice example. Any part of Night Night that took place on Erin’s farm, I was listening to country music while I wrote it. Not just any country music though, country music that made me think of small towns and farms. A couple of my personal favorites are “Tailgate Town”, “Backroad Song”, “Miles and Mud Tires”, and “Tractor” by Granger Smith. Can you tell I like Granger Smith?

Now, let me share some playlists with you that contain some of my favorite songs to listen to while writing certain mood scenes. (Like I said above, I can listen to music with lyrics while writing. If you are not someone who can do this, the next section of this post will be more helpful for you.)

These are some of my favorite songs for writing sweet or romantic scenes. These are mainly slower songs as I find those best to listen to for scenes like this. Although, I’m sure you could find more upbeat songs.

These are some of my favorite songs for writing sad scenes. In my experience, these lend themselves very well to dramatic sad scenes. You know the kind where you’re waxing poetic for a paragraph or two? That kind. Also, some advice, if you need to make yourself sad before writing a sad scene, go watch the video for “Sad Song” by We the Kings. Trust me, it’ll do the trick.

Finally, these are some of my favorite songs for writing action scenes. As you can tell, most of the songs are by Imagine Dragons. Call me crazy, but I feel like their music is generally really aggressive sounding. It makes for nice fight scene backdrops. Also, basically any movie fight scene music will work, but we’ll get to that next.

For the segment of the population that can’t listen to music with lyrics while writing, this is for you.

First, you can always listen to film scores. I do this more when I’m editing than when I’m actually writing. Editing stresses me out and makes me mad. Nothing makes editing less murderous like, “Concerning Hobbits”. I do write action scenes to film music sometimes. One of my personal favorite tracks is this one from Batman. Also, “The Bridge of Khazad Dum.”

Next, let me introduce you to the magic that is lucid dreaming music. Seriously, just search whatever setting of your novel is and add lucid dreaming music to the end. For example, my novel is set underwater. I discovered this music on YouTube that, no joke, makes me feel like I’m underwater. It’s great for writing. Fair warning though, whatever it is about the fact that this music is meant to make you dream, it might put you to sleep.

Finally, just a general writing music recommendation, Sleeping At Last has a lot of great stuff both with and without lyrics that’s great to listen to while you’re writing or editing.

Thanks for reading y’all! If you liked what you read take a look around and, please consider liking, commenting, and subscribing. What’s your favorite music to listen to while you’re writing? What’s your favorite music in general? I’m always looking for new music, so feel free to drop any suggestions in the comments!

Want to find out about this new novel I mentioned in this post? (That I’ve also tweeted about a good bit.) Great! Come back next week and you can find out all about my new project!

So long, y’all!

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4 thoughts on “Music and Writing”

  1. I actually listen to a wide variety when I write. Pop, alternative (stuff like Imagine Dragons), electronic-ish? Film scores, etc. And I’ve learned that I can actually write with lyrics if I make sure I’m not focusing on said lyrics, which has opened up a much broader range, lol. My current WIP playlist consists of Two Steps from Hell (great music, not-so-great name), League of Legends, Audiomachine, Tyler Bates (almost the entire Guardians of the Galaxy 2 soundtrack), Imagine Dragons, and songs here and there by Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, U2, Britt Nicole, Fall Out Boy, music from The Greatest Showman, there’s one on there from the new Beauty and the Beast… It’s a really long playlist. XD I really like the sound and variety to it. 🙂
    I’ve actually written two posts on the subject myself, if you’d like to read them. 🙂
    http://rmarcher.com/2017/09/music-and-writing/
    http://rmarcher.com/2017/12/music-in-writing/

    Liked by 1 person

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