Archive for July 18, 2019


Music for Inspiration

As I try to inject a little more romance into this book, I’ve relied on music to help set the mood. Although I live my life mostly in silence, I do love music, and I use music as a creative tool for my writing. I have playlists for different moods and emotions, and I usually create some sort of soundtrack for each book, with a playlist of songs that remind me of characters, the setting, scenes, themes, or moods. It’s basically an audio collage. These are what I listen to when I’m walking in the morning, when I work around the house, or when I’m brainstorming.

But I don’t usually listen to these playlists while writing. Music with lyrics is a distraction because I stop to listen to the lyrics, or even sing along. I might listen to a particular song to set a mood right before writing, but I can’t listen to it while I’m writing.

While I’m writing a draft, I often listen to classical music, but I can’t listen to anything too familiar because I’ll stop to listen instead of writing. I use the “classical music for focus” station on Amazon Prime Music or one of their playlists. Then I only notice when they play something I know.

Unfortunately, when I’m editing or rewriting, I need silence. Any music is distracting then. But that makes it hard to set a mood when the revision is about adding emotion. I have to listen to it before I write, while I’m doing other things, or I can sometimes dig up the emotion a piece of music makes me feel by thinking about that music. I may assign songs to key scenes and keep those songs in mind when writing the scenes.

One thing I have to work on is remembering that I need to put it all on the page. I’m bad about having my own vivid mental images and feelings relating to what I’m writing and forgetting that my readers don’t have that. I need to transcribe what I’m seeing and feeling in order to convey that to readers. Since my imagination is overactive, I’ve always mentally fleshed out what I read. I’m sure a lot of other readers do that, but it is good for the author to give them clues to make the experience more vivid.