Where Words Fail, Music Speaks – Teens Can Write, Too! February 2015 Blog Chain

tcwt-3[1]Well, I’m glad that I decided to double-check this month’s TCWT schedule… because I almost posted something else today instead! I forgot what date I’d requested and thought I was expected to post on February nineteenth. Oops. Anyway, this month’s prompt is:

“How does music relate to your writing?” 

Whoever thought of this prompt: You are freaking awesome. Thanks for giving me an excuse to fangirl about two of my favorite things, music and writing. Music is a HUGE part of my life. I listen to it while I write, do schoolwork, exercise, work, hang out on my own, drive from one place to another… the list goes on and on. I even listen to music while I read, which most of my friends apparently think is really weird and/or makes it difficult to focus? I don’t know. It doesn’t cause problems for my concentration.

Anyway. Back to music and writing. I ALWAYS listen to music while I write. Because I like it, and because it inspires me, and because I can’t stand to listen to the sound of my own finger tippity-tapping away on the keyboard. If I have music playing in the background, though, I don’t notice the noisily clacking keys and that makes me quite the happy little writer.

I’ve read a number of the other TCWT posts from this month, and noticed that several people mentioned finding inspiration for stories thanks to music. That’s never happened to me, however. I’ve never heard a song and thought, “OMG THIS JUST GAVE ME A GREAT PLOT IDEA.”

I do find that music affects the mood of individual scenes I write, though. If I’m writing a moderately sad scene and listening to super-sad music at the same time, for example, I generally end up writing a scene that is sadder than what I planned. So I guess music does kind of inspire me, but to a lesser degree than it inspires some of my friends.

I don’t make writing playlists anymore. I used to, though. I stopped because I usually ended up ignoring the set list of songs in favor of listening to whatever I felt like at that particular moment! I just wasn’t in the mood to hear certain songs, I guess.

Now I listen to… whatever it is that I feel like listening to on that day.

And it varies slightly by day, but I do notice general patterns. I’ll listen to a LOT of music by a particular artist, band, or composer for a few weeks or months before moving on to something else. I bounce around from song to song and album to album, changing whenever I deem it necessary. I mean, have you ever tried writing horribly tragic scenes while listening to the Stones? It just doesn’t work. Believe me, I’ve tried.

With that in mind, here is what I’ve been listening to lately.


  • David Bowie
  • Angel Haze
  • OneRepublic
  • The Rolling Stones
  • U2
  • Pink Floyd

Film Scores

  • Interstellar (Hans Zimmer)
  • The Maze Runner (John Paesano)
  • Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises (Hans Zimmer)
  • Unbroken (Alexandre Desplat)
  • V for Vendetta (Dario Marianelli)
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Henry Jackman)
  • The Imitation Game (Alexandre Desplat)
  • Game of Thrones, season three (Ramin Djawadi)
  • Inception (Hans Zimmer)
  • Doctor Who, series four and five and seven (Murray Gold)
  • The Avengers (Alan Silvestri)

And HERE is a list of specific tracks I’ve been listening to. Some of them are from stuff I mentioned above, and some aren’t. Either way, they’re all awesome.

I noticed all kinds of connections while assembling this list, and that was pretty cool. I’ve been on a big Hans Zimmer kick lately, for example, so his music is mentioned several times here. (IT’S SO DARK AND INTIMIDATING AND WONDERFUL.) And Bowie? I could listen to him all day, and have in fact done so. And that’s how I wound up listening to Pink Floyd – I guess it kept showing up in the “recommended for you” sidebar on YouTube because those artists made music at about the same time.

And then “Street Fighting Man” was in V for Vendetta, which I watched not too long. I always notice whatever plays during the end credits of movies, I suppose – that’s why “Miracles” is also on here. In general, a lot of the film score tracks listed here are from movies I’ve seen recently.

Meanwhile, the scores from the MCU movies are on here because… because they are MAGNIFICENT action-y soundtracks, perfect for listening to while writing fight scenes. Also, I’ve just been in a really Marvel-y mood lately, what with Agent Carter and The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War.

Anything goes when it comes to my writing music, basically. Old stuff? Sure. New stuff? Bring it on. Something in between? Of course. Yesterday I wrote a scene that was kind of angry/emotional, so I listened to lots of stuff from Game of Thrones and Angel Haze, because that suited the mood.

I just really like music. I love it, I love it, I love it. It’s such an integral part of my writing, and I honestly don’t know what I’d do without it.

Before I conclude this post, I’d like to share just one more song with you, if that’s all right. This is a medley created by Jason Yang, and it’s called “The Dark Game of Hobbit Knight Thrones.” It’s beautiful, I listen to it often, and it really encapsulates the “anything goes / yay for weird music combinations” attitude I have towards the music I listen to while I write.

Tell me about what you listen to while you write! What inspires you? Based on the music I mentioned above, is there anything you’d recommend to me?

P.S. The title of this post is taken from a quote by Hans Christian Andersen.

Want to follow our blog chain? Here are the participating parties, day by day:

6thhttp://jasperlindell.blogspot.com/ and http://vergeofexisting.wordpress.com/





11thhttp://butterfliesoftheimagination.wordpress.com/ and http://www.pamelanicolewrites.com/


13thhttp://miriamjoywrites.com/ and http://whileishouldbedoingprecal.weebly.com/


15thhttp://lillianmwoodall.wordpress.com/ and http://erinkenobi2893.wordpress.com/

16thhttp://theedfiles.blogspot.com/ and http://fantasiesofapockethuman.blogspot.com/

17thhttp://irisbloomsblog.wordpress.com/ and https://musingsfromnevillesnavel.wordpress.com/

18thhttp://semilegacy.blogspot.com/ and http://from-stacy.blogspot.com/



21sthttps://stayandwatchthestars.wordpress.com/ and http://arielkalati.blogspot.com/

22ndhttp://loonyliterate.com/ and https://www.mirrormadeofwords.wordpress.com/


24thhttp://themagicviolinist.blogspot.com/ and http://allisonthewriter.wordpress.com/


26thhttp://awritersfaith.blogspot.com/ and http://thelonglifeofalifelongfangirl.wordpress.com/

27thhttp://nasrielsfanfics.wordpress.com/ and http://thelittleenginethatcouldnt.wordpress.com/

28th – https://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com/ (We’ll announce the topic for March’s chain!)


About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
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8 Responses to Where Words Fail, Music Speaks – Teens Can Write, Too! February 2015 Blog Chain

  1. Heather says:

    Wow! This is quite a lot of music—I’m afraid I’m only familiar with Johnny Cash, Game of Thrones, and Hans Zimmer, but a few of the tracks sound familiar from other blog posts, and they all sound like good stuff to listen to while writing. Thanks for the recommendations!

  2. Cait says:

    I used to listen to music while I wrote. But I always picked ONE soundtrack and just listened to it on repeat for the 2 weeks or so I was drafting. Then I never listened to the track again. xD haha. Now I write in silence. Maybe I’ll go back to writing with music one day?! WHO KNOWS.
    Loved that you have so much Hans Zimmer here. I LURVE HANS ZIMMER. Also Danny Elfman and James Netwon Howard. (Or is it John? John or James. -_- I swear I really do love him.lol)

    • nevillegirl says:

      UGH I COULDN’T EVEN TRY THAT DFKSJHGDKFJHDFG I HATE SILENCE. xD But if it works for you, then go for it! 🙂

      Today has been a very Zimmer-y day so far. Yay for the Interstellar score! 😀 He’s sooooo amazing. ❤
      (It's James Newton Howard. 🙂 And I love his stuff too, but haven't listened to much of it lately. I listened to a TON of it this fall, though – his THG scores – so I guess I needed a break. xD)

  3. orphu44 says:

    I remember the Dark Game of Hobbit Knight Thrones! (I’m so ridiculously pleased with myself for typing its name right on the first try.) That’s lovely.
    I used to write in silence but lately I’ve been writing to music? I don’t know if it helps or hinders me, honestly.

  4. themagicviolinist says:

    LOVE OneRepublic. “Counting Stars” has been a long-time favorite of mine and was a huge inspiration to me with my 2013 NaNo novel.

    Okay, I have a whole new appreciation for the music from “The Imitation Game” after seeing the movie (twice!). Love that movie to pieces. And did you see the acceptance speech for the award it won at the Oscars? So good.

    *has “Doctor Who” feels from “Remember Me”*

    Thanks to you mentioning it, I’ve been listening to “Miracles” a bunch recently. 🙂 Such a great song!

    As well as all the music I mentioned in my post today, I listen to the writing playlist you made me on YouTube a lot. It has a great mix of stuff on there. 🙂

    • nevillegirl says:

      Lately I’ve been listening to their song “Preacher” on repeat. Ehehe, it’s funny, I love a LOT of songs with religious imagery despite never having believed in that kind of thing.

      dfskjghdfkgjhdkdhgdf I WAS SO EXCITED WHEN I FOUND OUT ABOUT THAT MOVIE BECAUSE I HAVE ADMIRED ALAN TURING FOR AAAAAAAAGES. And yes, that speech was excellent. *thumbs up*

      Oh, did you see my post about the Oscar nominations for Best Original Score? I talked about The Imitation Game some more… 😛

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