Some people love to listen to music when they write, others prefer silence. But whichever camp you fall in, a book playlist or soundtrack could really help you get into your writing zone. Here are four ways you can use music for inspiration:
1 – Set the mood
This is the simplest way to get you ready to write your book. Just pick some music that encapsulates the overall mood of your story and listen to it to get into your story. This is a good choice if you’re someone who doesn’t like to listen to music as you write because you can switch it off before you begin.
2 – Chart your chapters
If you want to get more in-depth, try creating a musical collection that syncs with your chapters. This could be especially helpful if you’re writing your book out of order. Just pop on the track for your chosen chapter to get focused.
3 – Build your characters
People may like your plot, but they’ve got to love (and hate) your characters, so don’t skimp on fleshing them out. Music has the ability to get deep into our core, so think about what they like, or dislike. What did they grow up listening to? Do they go to a lot of gigs? What radio station would they listen to? Pick a song, or even curate an entire playlist for your main characters. When you’re ready to write from each character’s point of view, get into their head by listening to their music.
4 – Step into the setting
If you’ve set your book in a particular era or part of the world, music is a quick and easy way to set the scene. The music will paint the background for your characters. It’s there at weddings and funerals, parties and on the streets. If you like to listen to music while you’re writing, this could be a great way to do so, whilst keeping yourself inspired.
I thought I’d try putting some music together for my current Work in Progress, The Cauldron Trilogy and this is what I’ve got so far. Safe to say it’s a bit eclectic!
What would be on the playlist for your book? Let me know or just leave a comment if you enjoyed this post!
I use playlists a lot. I have a couple on YouTube that are mostly alpha wave music for when I really have to focus. The vast majority of the time, though, I make them on my desktop and have about seventy that are permanent. After this many decades I’ve collected a lot of music. I have playlists I associate with specific characters in my series and others for setting mood. I have specific ones, too, for witchcraft, winter, rustic locales, evil, and more. I also have temporary playlists that are often crafted from a mix of the mood playlists.
The mood lists can be the most dangerous. For instance, a playlist about magic will often inspire wonder and awe, perhaps a bit of melancholy, but sadness, that’s a different challenge. Often those aren’t necessarily songs that “sound” sad, but that I associate with sad times in my life. They’re extraordinarily effective. Sometimes too effective. For balance, I have my share of lighthearted playlists.
Quite often when people share playlists online I cringe, but yours was wonderful. I loved its eclectic nature. Quite simply, it worked well together.
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Thanks for your reply. It sounds like you’re fully immersed in using playlists. I’m still a beginner but I think it’s going to be effective. I agree it could be too effective if you’re not careful and you’ll end up crying rather than writing! Music has way to get right to our core almost instantly. Thanks for your comments on my own list. I was in two minds about sharing it! It’s really made me think about the story beats.
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