Music & Writing


Music can relay things so well when we can’t find the words to say what needs to be said. They can touch someone’s soul deeper than anything else at times. I don’t know about anyone else, but for me I have to write with music playing. If I don’t have music I just can’t write. I’m starting a new book and looking for music for the playlist. It becomes even more important during editing. The only noise I can handle is the songs playing. While writing the first draft I can deal with kids yelling, coming to interrupt every few moments…no big deal. I’ve been known to take my laptop into the living room and hold conversations with my family while writing. But when it’s time to edit, then all of that stops and I lock myself into my office with just the songs. There might be times while editing that I listen to the same song over and over for one season until it’s just right.

The other day while starting chapter one of the new book, I couldn’t think of anything to listen to and was having trouble with writing. That is, until this song by Chris Young came on and it hit me. This is how my hero is feeling.
Crazy thing is, my character’s name is Chris as well, but I’m thinking of changing his name. Now he’s not an alcoholic, yet this song just screams his character how he has bottled up his feelings for the heroine It’s a reunion story and a lot of painful stuff they’re going to have to get through for their happy ending.
Then this song came on and it’s on the nose how she feels about him even though she doesn’t want to admit it. She’s still pissed at him and rightly so, but she’s still in love with him even though at first she doesn’t want to admit it. The only question is, can she get over him blaming her for the miscarriage.
So, do you have to have music playing while writing or does it need to be silent? I’m looking for some new songs to add to this playlist. Any suggestions?
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5 comments on “Music & Writing

  1. Calisa Lewis says:

    I listen to music while writing to get me in the zone, or for specific character scenes too. For my Vietnam story I depend on 60's music to help me 'live in the moment'.Thanks Ally.

  2. I think its important to have music playing as it sets a specific mood for a particular scene. I agree with Calisa that depending on genre of the book also depends on the music used to get a "feel" for the novel. I listen to Alt. Rock or Adult contemporary music while writing. I was using instrumentals but then my book took a different turn and thus the Alt. Rock fits. I might move back to instrumentals when I get to the particular scene that I was writing when listening to the instrumentals. Suggestions for music would be Alt. Rock, Adult Contemporary, Blues, Rock, Classic Oldies, Today's Big Pop/Rap hits and Today's Country.

  3. Ally says:

    Thanks Lisa and Tina. I always have music playing while writing.

  4. ♥nat ♥ says:

    I absolutely HAVE to have music. Usually I get myself focused with scores, but when I'm in the zone, I get my "playlist" out and start listening to that depending on what scene I'm writing.

  5. Ally says:

    I've never listened to scores before while writing.

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