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
- The Rolling Stones
- Pink Floyd
- 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.
- “Stay” – Hans Zimmer, Interstellar
- “Miracles” – Coldplay, Unbroken
- “Take Me To Church” – Hozier
- “Street Fighting Man” – The Rolling Stones
- “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide” – David Bowie
- “Why Do We Fall?” – Hans Zimmer, The Dark Knight Rises
- “A Promise” – Alan Silvestri, The Avengers
- “Battle Cry” – Angel Haze
- “On The Turning Away” – Pink Floyd
- “We Are All Made of Stars” – Moby
- “Alan Turing’s Legacy” – Alexandre Desplat, The Imitation Game
- “O Children” – Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Deathly Hallows Part I
- “Dayvan Cowboy” – Boards of Canada
- “The Man Comes Around” – Johnny Cash
- “Pride (In The Name of Love)” – U2
- “If I Lose Myself” – OneRepublic
- “Time” – Hans Zimmer, Inception
- “Girls” – Beatrice Eli
- “Mhysa” – Ramin Djwadi, Game of Thrones, season three
- “Canceling the Apocalypse” – Ramin Djawadi, Pacific Rim
- “Remember Me” – Murray Gold, Doctor Who, series seven
- “Society” – Eddie Vedder, Into the Wild
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:
14th – http://kirabudge.weebly.com/
28th – https://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com/ (We’ll announce the topic for March’s chain!)