I touched on this topic in a previous post about writing rituals, but I wanted to explore it a bit more today. Music has been a monumental influence on me my entire life. Like most people I know, I can identify a decade in my life by the music I was listening to at the time. So it comes as no surprise that music has impacted my writing.
I can hear a certain song and relate it to a story idea I have or even listen to lyrics and create an full character from them. There are entire YouTube playlists dedicated to certain stories, series, or characters from my established worlds. Often, when I need to get in that certain frame of mind for a story, I break out the music that I feel goes along best with what I have written. A serial killer on a rampage? Sounds like we need some hard-core rock. A love scene? Perhaps Christina Perri will help my characters find their way to romance. Internal conflict for our protagonist? Linkin Park is here to save the day.
Obviously, I’m not the only one. I know many a writer who has their own playlists or have even written songs for their stories. Coheed and Cambria, for example, is a band that writes epic tales into their music. Each album follows a story line that they even made graphic novels about. These two creative outlets seem to go hand-in-hand in many cases.
As I mentioned before, I can’t actually listen to music as I write, since I need quiet to tame my thoughts. Plenty of writers listen to their favorite tunes as they write, while others may not need the influence of music at all. Which are you? Do you listen to classical music to calm your mind or rap to get you hyped up for the story? Nothing at all? Playlists for your stories or one song you put on repeat? Inquiring minds want to know!