Music and writing.

I was going to title this Sex and Writing to get your attention, but sex is only a part of writing, so... ; )

It wasn’t until I became involved in the writing community that I realized I wasn’t alone in how I connected music with my writing.
Before I’d even learned how to write a query letter, I had a ‘soundtrack’ for my first manuscript. To this day, listening to one of those songs immediately transfers me into that world.

Once I realized that many authors create soundtracks for WIPs, some before they even type a word, I started wondering about the phenomenon.
In writing it’s your job to take words and arrange them in such a way to make your reader feel a particular emotion, to draw them into world so they don’t want to leave.

With music the effect is similar—music inspires emotion, draws you in—only the element is musical note and rhythm, instead of only words.

There are songs that immediately bring to mind a character, or, my favorite, solidify a character. When I listen to the song, I ‘hear’ my character. Not necessarily because of the words, or the melody, but a combination of everything.

My taste in music is rather diverse but I’m a child of the 80’s: heavier rock is my go-to preference. I love deep songs, show me you feel, but don’t whine at me. : )

Here are few of my favorites.


One of the most recent songs to inspire me was Sober by Pink.
This song characterizes the heroine in the book I’m afraid to write so well, that I almost stopped the car when I first heard it, but didn’t so I could go home and type all the lyrics I could remember into Google until I found out who sang it. And I should have known. This song still makes me want to stop what I'm doing and try and understand this particular heroine well enough to write her.


Razor Sharp by Collide

I found this song via the extremely talented Jennifer McKenzie and it’s been my go to get-in-the-mood-for-writing-that-scene song ever since. You only have to listen to it once to know why.

Beautiful Lie by 30 Seconds to Mars.
To me, this song personifies the perfect hero. In my opinion, Jared Leto has one of the best voices in the industry. Listen to the restrained passion, the tortured soul, the strength and gentleness and then about 3 minutes in… *sigh* Yup, the complete package. Eric from the tentatively titled Heaven Next Door was partially inspired by this song. The video is simply breath-taking.

Savin Me by Nickleback. This is the song for the hero opposite the heroine in Pink's Sober. He's a complex hero, would have to be to match wits with my heroine. : ) Chad Kroeger has the perfect growl in his voice. It's an interesting video, but embedding was disabled.

Care to share any of the songs that have inspired your writing?

5 comments:

Cecile said...

Lady Antebellum.... is one of my favorite. But country music... today's dance music (well.. if you call it dance, lmbo!)... Music in general speaks to me. It can rotate a scene very nicely in my mind... shape it just the way I want it... And within 2 1/2 minutes... it's over!
Thanks for letting us peek inside your music box!
Have a great day!

J.A. Saare said...

M83 has tons of songs that inspire me. So does NIN. It all depends on my mood. ;)

Lynne Roberts said...

You're welcome, Cecile. I agree, music tames that savage scene. (Or makes it more so depending on what you need.)= )

Jaime, my music changes with my mood too, but so does my reading material.

Cari Quinn said...

Two words: Jared Leto. *swoon*

Great post! I love music and can't write without it. Actually, my standard response is I can't even *think* without something blasting in my ears. I even hear music routinely in my dreams...

Lynne Roberts said...

Yes, I have to admit, the shot right after the wolf is very nice. : ) Have you see his new hairstyle? A mohawk.

I have music playing as I write about 50 percent of the time. Sometimes, I can't find the right song or I have the mood of the scene so ingrained, I don't need it. : )

Thanks for stopping by Cari.