Monday, January 10, 2011

Music to my writing

My mp3 player has an unusual assortment of music. A lot of rock, some heavy metal, punk, oldies, soundtrack scores, dance, R&B, country, Latin, video game music and a song by a Romanian band (Numa Numa anyone?) I played it every day at work, often raising a few eyebrows from new co-workers. I put what I liked on it and that's all that matters. I love listening to it, music is fun, mirroring my mood often. 

Which is strange because I don't often listen to music when I write. I don't crank the tunes while I'm typing away. Usually the TV is on and a movie I barely pay attention to playing. Still, music is important to my writing. There have been times I'm at work or driving down the road, music blaring, and a scene pops in my head. It's crystal clear, the words formed perfectly and as soon as the music is done, the scene fades away. Other times I hear songs and realize the song is a perfect theme song for my characters, describing their journey as if it was a music video. Every time I hear those songs I can see the characters, see the scene unfold.

So what songs have inspired me? Laid a scene out so perfectly or described a relationship spot on?

There's Jackson and Ebony in Forever Ebony. Their song is Love Story by Taylor Swift. Which is amusing because if you recall from another post, Ebony is goth and Jackson was a teen in the sixties before he became a vampire. Both wouldn't be Taylor Swift's biggest fans. Jackson could tolerate it but Ebony would flat out refuse to listen. But the song fits them almost perfectly, fated lovers waiting to be united. Or in their case reunited again and again.

Being Human had a lot of songs inspire me too. Two songs in particular helped me envision two scenes perfectly. My Love by Sia is a good representation of Tommy and Jamie's relationship. Transatlanticism by Death Cab for Cutie was another. It's a long song but when I listened to it I could perfectly picture a scene between Tommy and Jamie. It played out like a movie and I would love to see it that way. My Bloody Valentine by Good Charlotte was another song that,while I didn't see a particular scene, it did fit Tommy and his story. 

There's more songs but I think you get my point. Music can be a valuable tool for writing. The lyrics and melody can bring images and visuals to your mind, help you see what you want to write. Or draw. Or design. It's not only limited to writing, music is a muse for all.

What does music inspire you to do?


  1. I've noticed that a lot of other people don't work well with music on, but I'm the opposite. It's funny how music can determine my mood—if I'm listening to sad music, I often get sad. If I listen to boring music, well, of course I'm going to get bored! :)

  2. I have to listen to music that matches my mood. If I'm sad I go w/ sad music to keep myself sad. A bit weird like that. I gotta ask, Sarah, what music bores you?

  3. I don't care much for movie soundtrack music and really ambient music—that bores me and puts me to sleep. Most movie music is all the same, but there are some tracks that have a good tune. I'm picky about my music. It MUST have a very good tune that can stick in my head for a week, and if there are lyrics, they have to be good lyrics!

    I think you're right, though. It's best to listen to music that matches your mood. I usually listen to instrumental music when I'm writing or working on my blog because I tend to find myself paying attention to the words more than anything else when I listen to music with lyrics.