Music is a part of my soul. I don’t think I could go a day without listening to something.
It not only makes me happy, but it sparks ideas and gives me that extra boost when I’m trying to get through a tough scene in my WIP.
I’ve heard people say that writers should avoid music with lyrics as it can alter their own words, but I have a tip for that.
*Make a playlist that fits your story.
While working on my YA novel, I had a song for every scene, every special moment. I even had songs that showed, through lyrics, the feelings of my protagonist toward her world. When I needed to be centered and in that moment with my characters, I just turned on the music and the words would come.
Now, as I work on Novel #2, my playlist is in the process of being created. Once I decide on a scene or a specific mindset for a character, I search out songs that not only echo my character’s thoughts, but also keep the tone of the book flowing.
What does that mean, you ask? Well….If you’re writing a historical romance, I doubt listening to Metallica is going to rev your writing engine. The same goes with other genres. A dark paranormal will not have Colbie Caillet on the playlist, however, a romantic comedy would be the perfect home for her music.
This is important because one of the hardest things I’ve found about writing is staying in the story. It’s easy to lose the connection with your characters after you’ve been around the world and back with them through rewrites and editing.
But…I find it easier to not get so detached if I’m listening to music that reminds me of certain scenes.
For instance, in my current WIP, there is a scene where the “hero” embarrasses the living daylights out of my “heroine” by forcing her to the dancefloor where she stands, mortified, as he dances around her and eventually takes her by the hand and leads her through a few spins and twirls. The viewpoint of the the following song is his. It’s how he sees her, it’s what he wants to say to her. Take a listen:
Now I know music is not a necessity for everyone, but for those who are musically inspired I offer this recommendation: Get Pandora Radio. It’s free and it plays music you’re looking for. You can bookmark your favorite songs and artists, and rate music you love vs. music you don’t.
Set new stations of bands that you wouldn’t normally listen to so that you get a broader view of what’s out there. If you need somewhere to start, you can check out my Pandora profile here. It’s full of music from all types of artists.
So…go on…Let your novel get it’s groove on!
What about you? Does music inspire your writing? Do you make playlists?