Using Music to Set a Scene

Sometimes I really struggle to properly project the feeling of a location into my work, as Laura C's notes on Space!Story highlighted. I think I get so caught up in how it all appears in my head I kind of forget to give those visuals to the reader.

Music is such a great way to help create a location and a great way to project your imagination into different eras and worlds.

For example, this track always makes me feel like I'm deep in a snowy wood:


And this takes me away into a grim industrialised future:


Very lost, very alone in a great big haunted house:


Somewhere magical (and possibly quite Christmassy):


And, finally, shall we take a dramatic trip back in time?


What music do you love to use to take your imagination to other places?

Comments

  1. This is such a great reminder, because setting isn't only about giving readers the details they need to picture a place, but to feel what it's like to be in that place--something I forget at times. I could probably list a whole load of music that I use to create atmosphere, but my top choices would be any of the Tron soundtracks (big surprise) and the Oblivion soundtrack (amazing). Now that you've brought this up, I'll have to make sure I keep it in mind while I'm drafting! Thanks!

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    1. I shall have to check out the Oblivion OST. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  2. I've gotten into the habit of listening to sounds of rain videos. I especially like the ones that have thunder or hail spaced throughout because it makes me want to shake things up for my characters, too.

    Sometimes I can listen to music w/ words, but half the time I end up jamming out instead of writing.

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    1. I love to use rainymood.com but I think I'm going to find videos with hail on Youtube. That sounds like such a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Yes, I LOVE writing to music! Sometimes I keep a certain song on repeat just because it evokes the mood of a scene so well!

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    1. Me too! Sometimes, you find the perfect song and nothing else does the trick. Thank goodness we're not still in the cassette tape era.

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  4. I am the pits at describing setting. The absolute pits. I think, like you say, you get a very vivid picture in your mind and sometimes it's tough to translate that to the page. I'll have to make sure I listen to some inspiring music in future when I'm trying to write these details. Which reminds me... Have you played the game Journey? The soundtrack for it is absolutely gorgeous. I can see myself writing great setting details with that in the background. :-)

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    1. I haven't played it, but I shall certainly check out the soundtrack. Thanks for the recommendation.

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