Music and Writing
Music is a pretty big piece of the writing pie. Just about every writer I know prefers to write to music, and each writer has their own preferences.
Some build a playlist scene-by-scene in their novel, suiting music to mood. Some pick songs that remind them of their heroes or heroines, that pluck at their heartstrings and remind them of why they love their stories.
I’ve never been quite that involved, but I do have some requirements.
- The music must not have identifiable words. No English (or even Spanish) words are allowed, because my brain spends too much effort trying to understand/translate. Preferably, the music has no words at all and is entirely instrumental.
- No identifiable tunes. I get distracted waiting for lyrics that aren’t there. My friend’s wedding playlist is gorgeous, but I can’t use it because it’s mostly instrumental versions of awesome songs. This includes music immortalized by Looney Tunes, because I don’t need to be thinking about Coyote and Road Runner when I’m trying to write an emotional scene.
- The music must feel BIG. It must have enough pace to it to keep my writing edgy, and must feel slightly epic.
- The music must have multiple songs (so it takes a long time to go through the whole playlist) but each song must match the other songs well enough that I’m not stuttering every time there’s a song change.
I’ve found that movie and video game soundtracks fit this bill VERY well.
In particular, I’m getting to really enjoy the Bastion soundtrack (though some of my favorite songs have actual words) … but my favorite soundtrack, and the one I’ve used for over a year now, is the NieR soundtrack. I’ve got a youtube playlist for it (see below) but I also purchased the whole soundtrack from iTunes.
Bastion (Not Perfect for Writing, but Fabulous Vibe)
NieR (My go-to writing soundtrack)
What about you? How do you choose music to be creative to? (Not just writing). Do you have a favorite playlist?