Monday, May 3, 2010

Soundtrack for My Books

Monday update time!

I am still making progress with revision. It’s going really slow, but progress is being made.

Today I am going to tell you about music.

Some people don’t like to listen to music while they write, or if they do, they like stuff without words so it doesn’t distract them.

Me? Not so much. I have music playing, pretty much 24/7. The only time I don’t play music is while watching TV. Then it’s too much noise, I can’t stand competing sounds. Sometimes my roommates play music on their computer, which is right next to my desk, and then I have to shut mine off or use head phones. But other than that, I listen to music constantly. All kinds too. I really do listen to a little bit of everything, but I listen to rock the most, and it’s sub genres like classic, pop, opera, etc.

Sometimes while writing I tune out the music completely and all I hear or see is the world I have created (it’s like being in a trance, and way cool to experience, but a little weird to come out of. I imagine people with multiple personality disorders have a similar sensation of coming back to themselves, and wondering where the heck those three hours just went). Mostly I am actively listening to the songs, though, and it fits the mood or setting that I am striving for. I am one of those anal retentive people, who have playlists for each book, and most of my main characters have a theme song, and even certain scenes have a specific song that I associate with it.

The downside to this is I frequently mention or write this into the scene, and wind up having to prune it out later. Also, my characters go to karaoke A LOT. But that might be a sign of my nerdiness and not so much my music obsession. Or my nerdiness and music obsession had a love child, and karaoke is the by-product.

A rather frightening thought.

Speaking of karaoke, yesterday I spend most of the afternoon playing Rockband with my friends. It was FUN!!!!!! It fun to pretend we really are a band, and touring around the world playing songs for adoring crowds.

What I love best about music is it helps me capture an essence that is otherwise missing. It can help me really FEEL what the character is going through, especially if it’s a situation that’s removed from what I have personally experienced. It also inspires me, and can open another level to a character I have, making them seem like a real person to me, and not just, well, a character.

So let’s give a hand for all the musical people out there! Good job everyone!

If you haven’t thought about writing to music, why not give it a shot? It might help. You of course need to figure out what’s best for you, but experimentation can be fun (supervised, of course, don’t try this at home while running with scissors).


  1. Yay! I love writing with music too! :~) Haha, I do that thing with including a certain phrase or word in a scene that is associated with the song. I always have to clip it out but its worth it I think.

    Yay for Rockband too! I only recently tried my hand at it. I never realised it was so much fun!

    Happy Monday!

  2. Which instrument did you play? I was on vocals, which is a lot harder than people think it is!

  3. I wrote a one-act play based on Alice in Chains' "Rooster." I cannot listen to that song any more. I heard it so many times during the course of that play's creation that I immediately skip it whenever it comes up on my iPod.

    I enjoy Rock Band as well. I got Guitar Hero Metallica (which I can use my Rock Band instruments for) as a wedding present. Good lord, those solos are hard even on Medium!!!