Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Writing Soundtracks... Er, Playlists

Typically when I’m writing I have some kind of music playing in the background.  Sometimes I’m hitting up the soundtracks of Rent, Lord of the Rings, or even my most recent addition of Disney’s Rio.  Lots of the time I simply tune in to my Sirius account and listen to various satellite radio stations throughout the day.  I’ve been known to listen to classic Bach, Beethoven and Vivaldi.  But when I’m deeply immersed in a story (whether it’s The Chosen, The Gifted, or Immortals) I tend to put my trusty iPod on continuous repeat and sink myself into one of the ‘writing’ playlists that I’ve created for myself – full of songs that evoke thought and a variety emotions that I can channel into the characters and stories that I’m writing. 

Whether its Evanescence’s My Immortal (which ironically I don’t often listen to when I’m working on Immortals), The Killers’ Human, or Candle (Sick and Tired) by The White Tie Affair, the music becomes as much a driving force behind my writing as the dreams that first brought them to life.  The characters in the stories may come to be represented by a particular song.  A particular scene or chapter may be directed by a set of songs that give them meaning or power during the writing process.  The music infuses me with the emotions or perspective that I want to take and allows me to more easily flow through the situations that I create and describe as I write.

As an example, and to give you a peek at the songs that I might listen to when working on emotional scenes between my two lead characters, my playlist includes (but is not limited to):

Garth Brooks – The Dance
Blake Shelton – Austin
Allan Gray – Best I Ever Had
Five Times August – Better With You
The Wreakers – The Good Kind
Matt Nathanson – Faster
Hedley – For The Nights I Can’t Remember
Sara Bareilles – Gravity
Rascal Flatts – Help Me Remember
Darius Rucker – History in the Making
Gavin Degraw – I Don’t Wanna Be
Jason Mraz – If It Kills Me
Faith Hill & Tim McGraw – It’s Your Love
Christina Perri – Jar of Hearts
Taylor Swift – Love Story
The Killers - Mr. Brightside
Lady Antebellum – Need You Now
Kate Nash – Nicest Thing
Franz Ferdinand – No You Girls
O.A.R. – Shattered (Turn the Car Around)
One Republic – Stop and Stare
Katy Perry – Thinking of You
Scouting for Girls – This Ain’t a Love Song
Coldplay – Viva la Vida
Thriving Ivory – Where We Belong
The Fray – You Found Me

So what do you listen to when you write? Or when you’re working on something? Or are you the type of writer who needs silence to create?

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