Saturday, June 14, 2014

Music Playlists to Write By

When I sit down to write, the first thing I do is plunk on my headphones and turn on my music. I live in a loud little house, but I discovered long ago with my writing that a low volume of music helps tremendously, to the point that as soon as my tunes are on, my creativity starts coming up. But recently I've been noticing how it goes beyond a noise buffer...

Have you ever watched one of those ancient, ancient movies without sound--just a piano score and text? I mean, not that I have or anything! That would be total geeky of me. ;) BUT, it does go to show how important the score is in a movie. I'm always amazed at the emotion a good musical score can lift out of an otherwise bland scene. Music is, essentially, an emotion. As a storyteller limited to our 26 letters, this is yet another restriction on our craft of world building using only words. However, I've found having the right type of tunes for the scene I'm building clouding my mind from outside distractions, not only helps me to keep my focus, but also helps me style my scene more articulately. Having exciting music pumping my blood helps keep the excitement levels up in my climatic scenes, likewise having sweet music warming my heart helps to keep my romantic scenes tender and gentle.   

Combining music and writing is no big secret in the storyteller's circle. Lots of authors use it to stay focused and motivated during their typing time. But beyond a noise buffer/background music, I've found the influence of music literally seeping into my stories. This is an interesting aspect to consider! And not just for the sake of setting and describing the scene, (whether exciting or sweet), but for the feel of the character's themselves. What are their emotions in the scene? Are they feeling frightened? Happy? Mischievous? Hurt?

Obviously, you can't get playlists for every emotion (or maybe you can, I don't know) but having a few to choose feels like a fun writing accessory. :)

So here are my writing playlists, feel free to use (follow, whatever,) them for your own motivation and inspiration when getting your word count in. Keep in mind that these are getting updated frequently and will probably contain more tunes every time to look at them!

Writing Instrumental/Soundtrack

Writing the Exciting Scenes!

Writing the Sweet Scenes

ALL My Spotify Tunes--WOAH!!

All but the last link are purely instrumental playlists. If I'm listening to music with lyrics, I like to keep the volume really low, like a 2, but if the household is particularly noisy and I have to turn it up, I sometimes find myself distracted by the lyrics. All of sudden, I'm rocking out, bobbing my head and fist pumping while belting out: "and you're gonna hear me ro-oh-oh-oh-oar, ro-oh-oh-oh-oar," instead of typing away at the development of my shy prairie heroine. Not helpful. In those scenarios, I've found instrumental tunes tend to stay in the background of my scenes better.

Some authors find music distracting and employ their own techniques for 'getting in the zone'. What do you think? What are your 'zoning in' techniques?

p.s. I'm not much of a Hunter Hayes fan, but I feel like I do have to credit him for inspiring me to do this post today, when I heard his new song 'storyline' come on in my headphones.

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