Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Mood Music

Every writer has their own habits and routines. Some write in the morning. Some need snacks or caffeine as they work. Some need silence. I write to music. 

I've read a few books recently where the author has included the playlist they used while writing the book. Music can help create a scene/moment/mood in your mind just as powerfully as words can. It got me thinking how useful this tool can be.

Usually, before I start, I'll sit and make a playlist. I like to have a few songs my main character likes/identifies with to help understand the character. I may find I have an idea of certain songs that might fit the mood of a specific scene. Those are added to the playlist.

I typically start with about ten songs, but each playlist tends to grow I write. I find the more I get into the story, the more songs seem to fit.

Music also plays a part during editing. Sometimes the beat will help with the pacing of a scene. Sometimes the mood. Songs, for me, also add the extra layer of emotion. So, if I have one picked out, I'll play the song/s that match the scene I'm working on.

Even if I'm not writing, I'll often have the playlist on while doing something else. Sometimes inspiration for a scene or dialogue will hit simply while listening to a song. It can be a great too if you find yourself stuck on a plot point.

Even if you need silence to write, a playlist can be a great tool for those stuck/needing inspiration moments.

How about you? Do you listen to music when writing?


  1. No, oh no! When I listen to music I sing along. Then I type what I'm singing!

  2. Sometimes. I have certain theme songs for different works. Garry Owen for a scene in Dragon Valley where the troops are being reviewed before they leave.


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