writing music

For you writers out there, do you listen to music while you write?  What kind?  How loud?  Lyrics or no?  Do you make playlists based on what you’re writing?

My preferences have changed over time, but I find that now I like to write to music with no lyrics, usually background music from movies.  Right now I am loving Harry Gregson-Williams (the early Narnia albums), Carter Burwell (Where the Wild Things Are), Alexandre Desplat (Deathly Hallows and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close), along with other Potter composers like Nicholas Hooper, John Williams, and Patrick Doyle.  So good.  Carter Burwell has a song called “Life Death Birth” (which is from the Breaking Dawn album, don’t judge me) that is just so wonderful to write to.

Sometimes I make playlists to get myself into a particular mood/attitude while I am working a particular scene.  I have a “sadness” playlist, a “you can do it!” playlist, a “falling in love” playlist, and a “confused” playlist.  My friend Caitlin thinks I am silly but endearing. Ha!

Would love to hear how music influences your writing!  Please comment!

3 thoughts on “writing music

  1. I love the idea of writing to soundtracks! You should add the theme from Legends of the Fall. It’s one of my faves.

    I mostly write in silence these days. Mostly it’s out of default because I don’t want to wake up the kids. If I’m at a coffee shop or something I’m usually fine with just the normal ambient noises.,,but if I get some really loud people around me, I turn to my Mellow Mix.

  2. I DO have playlists for when I write! Usually I create them based on what genre/time period I’m writing, as well as what the emotional atmosphere of the scene is. (Stacey and I have even renamed songs in our playlist to fit certain scenes/characters.) It cracks me up that Harry Gregson-Williams and Alexandre Desplat are two of your favorites, too! I love Desplat’s more light-hearted scores for “The King’s Speech,” “Julie and Julia,” and “Coco Before Chanel.”

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