I was recently asked by another writer in one of my online networks if there was any particular type of music that I listen to when I write. Actually, as an avid music collector for many years, I have an ever-evolving list of songs that I listen to while I work. So today, just for fun, I thought I’d share samples of what types of music I prefer to listen to for various types of writing.
Dialogue – 60s Pop and Rock
As a child, I grew up listening to the music of my parent’s generation, so there’s always been something soothing for me in the upbeat, simple melodies and messages in this style of music. As well as just making me feel better, I find that everything from Folk to Motown makes it easier for me to formulate responses between two or more people in a written conversation.
Setting Description – New Age/Celtic
Whether it’s Clannad or Yanni, Enya or Jim Wilson, I really prefer tranquil music when I am trying to translate a breathtaking visual scene in my head into written words on a screen. Incidentally, since this is probably the hardest type of writing for me to do, I end up listening to this kind of music a lot.
Sad Scenes – 70s Soft Rock
There’s something in the subdued, somber tones of the 70s that is well suited to writing melancholy scenes and dialogue. For example, the first time I wrote a scene between Keltin and Angela in The Beast Hunter, I listened to Dave Mason’s “We Just Disagree” on repeat for hours. Still puts me in mind of their tragic story whenever I hear it.
Action Scenes – Hair Metal/AOR Rock
The 80s were filled with music that was equal parts ethereal and powerful. With driving rhythm sections and soaring guitar solos, these songs provide a perfect backdrop to the type of other-worldly battles that seem to happen so frequently in my writing. I’ve also really gotten into a lot of contemporary AOR rock, which has a very similar vibe and power.
Line-editing – Classical
While I wouldn’t pretend to be a connoisseur of classical music, there are many composers and pieces that I find equally soothing and stimulating during the sometimes brain-numbing process of fixing grammatical errors.
Do you listen to music when you are being creative? What do you like? Post links to YouTube videos with the songs in the comments and let’s share together!