Sunday Inspiration - The Joy of Exploring Original Soundtracks

One of the best things about any kind of album is listening to them over and over and picking up on new things you love.

As a writer, I love to use music from soundtracks to really engage with my characters and the story.  And while I do have plenty of favourites, I also love getting new soundtracks so all the feelings they inspire are fresh and new.

Recently, I picked up the Shadow Recruit soundtrack and, after a few listens, this track stood out for those really tense moments when a character's facing some really tough decisions.

On another listen, another track captured my attention.  I particularly like this one because there's a real sense of history behind it, like a character knows they have a legacy to uphold:

I also picked up John Powell's astonishing score to How To Train Your Dragon and I could really be here all day talking about the different tracks, but I'll try to control myself ;)

So, this one stands out as great piece to listen to when you've got a character discovering something really exciting. It's so mellow and yet so heartwarming. I love it.

And then, on another listen, this track leapt out at me like "I AM FOR THE MOST EPIC MOMENTS OF ALL TIME! MAKE GOOD USE OF ME IN ALL YOUR WRITING!!!!!"

I am so completely in love with this soundtrack.

The thing about a really good soundtrack? You can listen to it again and again and always find something new. The Tron:Legacy soundtrack is the gift that keeps on giving. It was even good enough for Sochi's opening ceremony!

And don't forget, it's not just film scores. Videogames have some seriously impressive scores, too.  I was talking to my brother the other week about games I have a really nostalgic love for, and part of that love comes from the soundtrack.  1998's Metal Gear Solid had such an amazing atmosphere.  If you're writing something that's not just tense but really atmospheric, this soundtrack never lets you down:

Oooh, memories of fighting Psycho Mantis...


If you need some inspiration, or if you need something to help you engage with your story, soundtracks are a phenomenally useful tool. And, like I said, the more you listen to them, the more you can appreciate different tracks. It's why I find it so hard to stick with a definite favourite from any given soundtrack. On a different day, or with a different book, a different track from, say, the Star Trek Into Darkness OST will sound infinitely better than the one I liked last week.

So, if you haven't taken a leap and picked up some soundtracks to write with, my advice is choose your favourite film, videogame or TV show, pick up its orchestral soundtrack and get inspired!  Either that, or ask me for a recommendation. I do so enjoy discussing amazing soundtracks with all of you lovely people ^_^


  1. A lot of writers say this, but I've only tapped into soundtracks a few times. On the NaNo boards. someone posted their epic fantasy soundtrack loop (I think it looped for a few hours). It was definitely inspiring! Though I was writing a quite YA family drama so it didn't really mesh for my writing :)

    1. Yeah, the music really has to match the genre you're working with. But it can be such a useful tool. Can't imagine working without my soundtrack collection ^_^

  2. We just went to see Shadow Recruit yesterday and really enjoyed it. I didn't catch much of the soundtrack in the theatre though because I was so absorbed in the action. I especially like the first track you shared.

    And you already know I love the soundtracks for Tron and How to Train Your Dragon. Music from the Tron: Legacy soundtrack really is perfect for the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, considering the games in the Grid. :D

    1. Fun film right? One of the best parts of a buying a soundtrack is having a chance to really enjoy the music that adds so much to the story.

      I do know! You're my fellow Tron:Legacy fangirl ^_^ Haha, yes, The Grid was a *perfect* choice XD

  3. I LOVE that first one from How to Train Your Dragon! My all time favorite soundtrack to write to is Last of the Mohicans.

    1. I must admit the How to Train Your Dragon OST is becoming a firm favourite :D


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