Music to Write To
So, I don’t know about anybody else but I really love having music on when I’m writing. It helps inspire me and get me into the mood of the story. I find, though, I have very specific needs when it comes to what I’m listening to when I’m writing. And what is the thing that works best for me?
Yup. Give me something by John Williams, James Horner or Hans Zimmer and I am all set to be in the groove on my writing. But it’s not just the big names in the movie score business. I love the more obscure movie composers. Like Andrew Powell. He wrote the Disco-tastic, totally anachronistic film score for a fantasy romance called Ladyhawke (which is a classic, by the way).
Oddly enough, although I can deal with the Disco drenched score for Ladyhawke I can never seem to write anything when I try to listen to music with words. If there are lyrics I just can’t concentrate. Even opera where I don’t even understand the words is too distracting for me when I’m first trying to bang out a story.
Music isn’t just for the writing process itself, though, I also always have something playing when I’m working on edits. For mechanical edits like fixing formatting or doing a word search I usually try and combat the humdrudgery of the task by listening to some really perky music. My Country playlist is usually my go-to but I also have one for musicals and Disney songs. Anything perky that I can sing along to as I click through and tweak the manuscript.
Another odd quirk in my writing’s relationship to music is that each book has a specific playlist. For my sweet paranormal-historical, “The Beauty’s Beast,” I listened to a lot of Ladyhawke, but also the scores for Kingdom of Heaven, Ever After and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. For me, all of that music matched the tone and feel of the book. Fairy tales and magic and the kind of soaring, sweeping romance that you only seem to find in fairy tales. These soundtracks came in handy because when I sold the book to my publisher it had actually been a few years since I had first written it, so I used the soundtracks to help get my head back into the world and the characters. And it was actually amazing how certain songs from those scores so perfectly clicked me back into the right headspace to work on “The Beauty’s Beast.”
For my YA fantasy novel, “Heir to the Underworld,” I didn’t have much already in my music collection that conjured the book for me. I needed something kind of edgy but since the Greek gods figure heavily into the story I also wanted music that could conjure up ancient Greece and that kind of exotic world. The major soundtrack for “Heir to the Underworld” ended up being the score from HBO’s Rome TV series.
Just as crafting your characters and building your world can help you create the ambiance of your book, I feel like music can be another important tool to help you get a feel for the tone of your story and also to help you get yourself into the book’s headspace.
Thanks, Theresa for having me! 😀
Feisty Frederica Fitzgerald is just one day shy of her sweet sixteen when she’s nearly run over by a tall, dark dreamboat on a big black horse. Freddy can deal with the running over part- no harm done. The problem is the rider, Mr. Sex Bomb himself: Polydegmon, son of Hades and heir to the Greek Underworld.
Freddy’s hooked on Polydegmon from the start (although dude, togas went out of style several thousand years ago), being near him is enough to make her tingle down to her toes. He’s got secrets he isn’t sharing, though, and trouble follows him closer than his own shadow: rabid dogs running around the suburbs, insane crows stalking Freddy’s every moment, and, worst of all, the Wild Hunt trolling her hometown for their next bit of human game.
The closer Freddy gets to Deg, the weirder her life gets, until Freddy discovers something about her own past that changes everything she ever thought she knew about herself. And her world…