May 22, 2017
How to Use Music to Write
Music is a beautiful thing. It has the ability to create emotion in us, simply using sound, which is astonishing. As writers, we can use this to our advantage.
Writing requires emotion to work. One of the best ways to help us create that is to use music to help us write. Don't know how to do that? In this post, I'll show you how to use music to improve your writing.
Create a novel playlist
You've probably heard about this before. I would certainly recommend it for any writer. All it is is a playlist of all the songs that pertain to your novel. You can come up with a song for every chapter, a song for each major part of the story, a song for main characters, and more.
There are so many ways to do this, all you have to do is put something together that works for you. The hard part will be finding the songs. These need to be songs that fit the mood and feel you want for your novel, which is easy to say, hard to find. I suggest starting by thinking of a part in a movie that's similar to what you're writing, then finding the track for that part.
I personally have tried both coming up with a song for every chapter and a song for each portion of my novel. Both work well, though if you're writing a longer novel with lots of chapters, the second might work better for you. I also always come up with songs for my hero and villain.
Listen to music while writing
If you're one of those people who can listen to something while writing, I suggest trying music. It can help you get in the right mood for whatever you're working on today.
It's best if you can listen to something with a similar feel to what you're writing that day. Like if you're writing a romantic part, find some soft, romantic sounding music. If you're writing a battle scene, find some epic music, or something angry sounding.
Everyone is different about what they like to listen to. Some people can only do classical, some prefer pop. I can't listen to anything with words that I haven't heard before while I'm writing. And I can't listen to musicals, no matter how much Hamilton is calling my name. I'd rather sing with it than just listen. Find what works for you and use it.
If you need some inspiration of where to start, here's a list of some of my favorite soundtracks and other places to listen to.
Places to Find Music
• Amazon Prime. If you have Prime, you've got to try their stations. There are classical music stations, soundtrack stations, and studying stations. It's like Pandora, but without the ads and personalized content.
• Pandora. Pandora is one of my favorite music apps. It's completely personalized, and you can listen and create stations off of what you like. It works best on a phone or tablet, though you can put it on your computer.
• YouTube playlists. You can find whole playlists or 2 hour long videos of soundtracks or epic music or whatever you want on YouTube. And it's all free.
• How to Train Your Dragon by John Powell.
• Star Wars, Harry Potter, and The BFG by John Williams. Or anything else he writes. His music is the best.
• Doctor Who soundtracks by Murray Gold. One of my favorite pieces is I Am the Doctor from Series 5.
• Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit by Howard Shore.
• Man of Steel and Pirates of the Caribbean by Hans Zimmer.
• Sherlock soundtracks by David Arnold, Michael Price, and Hans Zimmer. Yeah, I mean both the movies and the TV series.
• The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Corpse Bride by Danny Elfman. His music is perfect any time you need something creepy.
• Any Disney movie soundtrack by whoever wrote it. They're all great.
• The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by Harry Gregson-Williams.
Let's talk! How do you use music to inspire your writing? Do you make novel playlists? What are your favorite soundtracks? Tell me in the comments.