Friday, December 9, 2011

Writing with a Soundtrack

Often when I visit another author's blog, I see a fancy-schmancy playlist. Usually it includes songs that inspired the story or music the author was listening to while writing. Not only does reading the list of unfamiliar names make me feel incredibly old - never do I see Roxette or Bon Jovi listed - ha!, but it makes me wonder if I'm missing out on potential creative inspiration.


When I write, I pop in my earbuds to block out background noise. If I have wifi, I'll click on over to Pandora and pick an instrumental station - piano is my favorite. Occasionally, I'll do string quarters or something. But I absolutely cannot listen to music with lyrics while I'm writing. Most of STORYBOUND was written to constantly repeating Christmas at the Keys, because I always worked in a coffeeshop that didn't have internet, and it was the only music I had saved on my laptop at the time. But, as fun as Christmas in July is, it doesn't make a very impressive author playlist.


I've tried to hip-it-up a bit. On my last writing day I braved a Tom Petty station on Pandora, but (though Tom Petty is as cool as ever), I just couldn't focus in on my writing.

What about you? Do you write to a soundtrack? I'll take any suggestions! What music inspires you? Do you have any imagined soundtracks to some of your favorite books?

10 comments:

  1. TP (heehee) is verrry cool - wonder if he got teased about that when he was in school, thus, he became what he is now --- Nevertheless, girly, you a writer? Lucky day! WooHoo! Hereby, I, blessed holy socks, shall giveth unto thee, my just and worthy liege, A-L-L of our blogs to sit-down, ponder, and think of ways YOU could re-structure the sentence structure -IF- you'd allow me to kiss your precious, adorable feets in Heaven (my PCs not mine, you understand. On loan from Gawwwd) --- Like iconoclastic romance? Like well-oiled-clich├ęs? Like adventure and passion in the Great Beyond? Reading our blogs, especially 'MySoulAccomplishment', we can do whatever we like Upstairs - God only gives bawlz to those who see the need for humility. We love you, girl. I seriously gotta whooole lotta bawlz (in the cranium). Meet me in Heaven and you, too, can see’m HeeHee God bless you.

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  2. Wow. Personally, I can't write while listening to music, but I am falling out of my chair over Kold's comment. I'm not sure what it means, but I like it.

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  3. I was inspired by one of the books I read recently (YA) to think musically about my story.The author had listed a suggested soundtrack to go along with the reading (page# included).When I'm writing, I can't listen to a thing, but once the character is there and the mood has been established, then, and only then, does the music start piping in.(It's almost like turning up the volume on the TV once you've picked the station you want to watch.)And to be honest, it's fun to imagine what life would be like for not only my characters, but me too, if "Crazy Train" by Ozzy were being played while drive frantically to my next destination. :)

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  4. When writing, I think I am most productive when there is no music playing. So, no, no sound track for me---at least not yet. :-)

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  5. I can't write with music on; it distracts me and I get nothing done. :-)

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  6. Finally, a writer like me! :) I can't listen to anything while I write either. It drives me batty because I end up either (a) singing along if I know the song or (b) listening intently if I don't. My brain can't handle the challenge.

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  7. I can write with music on, and sometimes I prefer silence. Throughout college I studied with jazz music on, so I'm used to have some sort of sound in the background. I have noticed that if I need to help myself pacing-wise, it helps to find a song with the right rhythm and play it while I write. I notice that my fingers click with the pace of the music. Helps when I'm writing a fast-paced action scene to have a fast-paced song on. Weird stuff, I know.

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  8. I've never really tried listening to music while writing, but I really do love creating playlists after the novells finished. Choosing a personal song for each of my characters helps me get to know them a little more. :)

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  9. I can't really do it...too distracting for my scattered mind! ;) I'll listen to the TV on a very low level, just a dull murmur--helps me think better than when it's total silence!

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  10. I used to do the low background TV thing, Hilary, but I frankly find music more helpful, and in my chaotic home (Still live the family, love them, but I'm so ready to have my own place soon) silence is a rare luxury, and no one under 18, or even 20 lives here anymore, I was the only minor in the house until my 20s.

    While I've always been a music lover, my tastes expanded as I got older. I typically listen to music that matches my characters personalty, or things they might listen to themselves, or fits the tone of the book.

    In my new WIP, every character has their own signature theme, like in plays where one song plays only for a certain character or scene in the play's world, that kind of thing.

    A lot of my writer friends find music too distracting, but for me it's fun, and when you live in a home that can be "At WAR" any moment in the day or night (Constant bickering, my mother's belittling comments, etc) music is what often saves me from being a savage beast. Anything to drown out the 'tude in a house with very thin, and I mean THIN, walls is a must to stay sane.

    But I'd still love writing to music even if I lived alone, it just wouldn't be as mandatory as it is now, to drown out feuding relatives and the like.

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Thanks for adding to the mayhem!