The Writing Lifestyle - Music

I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but music is one of the greatest ways to get inspired.  Listening to music isn't a passive experience; great music will take you on a journey.  This post is going to be more about using music, rather than sharing any particular piece.

Most of the music I use to write with comes from soundtracks.  I collect them because I know they're a great way to connect to emotions.  Sometimes I'll just listen to the soundtrack itself as I write, especially when I'm in first draft mode and pantsing my way along.  Other times, when I know there's a particular scene with a clear emotional level I need to reach, I'll create a playlist with a blend of music that's just right.

This is the tip of Cole's Soundtrack Iceburg...

The main thing I listen for with music I want to write with is its ability to carry my imagination off, whether I want it to go or not :P When I build playlists for particular ideas, or just playlists I know I can daydream to, I try and keep the music flowing well, so one piece leads seamlessly into another to keep the mood going.  Let's say I'm writing a really fast paced action scene in which something really terrible is going to happen to one of my characters.  I might start with something upbeat, to signify the characters totally think they've got this, that they can't be beaten:

But then...

:O Tragedy strikes!

I love combining soundtracks to suit my stories or my daydreaming... and I have got a lot of playlists.  I tend to use songs with lyrics as character themes. Ed from Colony has one of my favourite David Bowie songs as her theme tune ;)

Music is a huge part of my writing life.  It's the reason I started playing the violin, too.  I love music, so why not make some myself? One day, maybe I'll write soundtracks to my own books!

How does music inform your way of writing? 


  1. Synchronous post timing! I ended up looping the Fullmetal Alchemist Opening 4, "Chemistry", last night with the plan of just daydreaming about a more upbeat WIP it might fit... I wound up untangled a plot issue with my current WIP.

    Music is just ridiculously inspiring. So many ideas seem to hit me out of nowhere while listening to it.

    1. Yay! :D That's great news.

      The power of music strikes again!


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