Music. Like a literary masterpiece it has the ability to depress your spirits or make them soar. It can deepen sorrow, strengthen resolve, bolster you through tough times, and make sweet moments more memorable. When writing I have found it can be a great ally.
My father loves classic rock and roll, also country music. But he’s not a fan of the ‘pop’ country artists. Something I’ve always appreciated is good story in music lyrics and I think that appreciation comes from being his son.
On the other side of influence is my mother. She loves classical music. From an early age I loved Mozart, Vivaldi, and especially Tchaikovsky and Strauss. How I love the 1812 Overture!
When writing I choose music without lyrics because my mind is distracted by the spoken word when it is creating with the written word. For some writers this may not be true, but for me it certainly is.
Some movie soundtracks make excellent inspiration. My movie soundtrack selections range among Rudy, Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy, Lord of the Rings, The Time Machine, Pirates of the Carribean, and Gladiator.
The key is for the tracks to blend almost seamlessly together. That way it can encourage a certain writing mood for long enough that I can write out a longer scene or even a total chapter.
In the last couple of years I’ve found some modern, digital compositions that work as well. The group Two Steps From Hell has some excellent epic music.
The best way to zone out from the world around me and fall fully into my imagined one is to sit down with my headphones on, computer keyboard positioned before me, my digital manuscript open on the screen, and listen to music with my eyes closed. Sometimes it can take a half hour before inspiration strikes, but when it does I feel like smiling (and often do). Music can so deeply relax my body and yet it keeps my mind sharp.
This year because I’ve not found time to sit and do this my writing has fallen behind. But this is one of the best ways to start a great piece of story. Emotions engaged. Soul inspired.
Q: Do you use music to inspire your writing?
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