I listen to a lot of music. A LOT of music. I listen to music while doing school, while I’m writing, pretty much if I’m doing something, music is going in the background.
While I listen to the normal pop songs and such, orchestra music, particularly scores from movies and TV shows, have a special place in my heart. This is because they give me inspiration when I need it.
Now I have no musical talent whatsoever. I’m not here to teach you how to write music or play music. I’m here to talk about how music inspires me.
Now I write Epic Fantasy as many of you know, so that requires a lot of creativity and effort if you want to tell an original story and world. I don’t want to copy what J.R.R. Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, Brandon Sanderson, or Patrick Rothfuss did (though I have only read two of those four authors, I promise I’m working on catching up!). I want to take what I liked about their stories, and twist them into something new, something different from what they’ve written, while still similar enough that it has the components that I and other readers enjoy.
Music helps me create. I don’t know what happens, but when I start listening to tracks like Hans Zimmer’s Time, Howard Shore’s The Breaking of the Fellowship, or pretty much anything by Ramin Djwaldi, I get inspired. Something in my mind just clicks and the creativity just starts to flow. The music helps give me a background to what I have going on in my subconscious. I have had many ideas for different components in my various projects (I currently have three with two in the frying pan, one being much larger than the other, and another one which is on the back burner). The music gives me inspiration to write because it unlocks what is already going on in my mind.
Another thing about music is that there is an abundance of it out there. So many movies and films have been made at this point that I discover new scores what it seems like every day. With each new score, there is something new that it can inspire. I’ve recently been listening to the Hans Zimmer Sherlock Holmes scores because I’ve been working on a short story mystery and they get me into the right mood for outlining/writing the mystery. Now when I write my Epic Fantasy project, I generally listen to scores from fantasies, such as Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Westworld, Mission Impossible, you name it. I think part of why music inspires me is because it can help me visualize scenes. I haven’t even seen the movie or show three of the four of those scores are from! Yet I am able to get a feel from it for what I’m writing.
I am a huge music nerd if you haven’t been able to tell already. When a new movie comes out and I go see it, the first thing I do after seeing it is I go listen to the score. I did this with 1917, I had that score on repeat for hours. I look forward to new movies and shows for their scores because while movies can be really bad, the score can be really good for those movies! Currently looking forward to The Wheel of Time series, partly because I am about to start reading those books, and partly because it will be another fantasy score for me to listen to!
Now, this may have just been me rambling about my love for music, I hope it wasn’t. But more than that I hope that when you guys (or at least the five or six of you who actually read this blog) read my books that you will read something original and new, while still having that good feeling that you get when you read a new classic (like the one I got when reading Mistborn: The Final Empire). Many writers do different things to get themselves in the right writing mood.
Mine is music.
What is your favorite music score if you listen to them? If you don’t, what is the way you get into the mood for writing? Let me know in the comments below!
From my pen to your paper, may our swords never clash.
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2 replies on “The Music in Writing”
Mine is definitely the entire Lord of the Rings soundtrack, sometimes even if I’m not working on a fantasy series. Of course, I listen to other music as well, but that is the most frequent. I also like Star Wars music for writing, though certain pieces can be a bit distracting. Sometimes even singular songs will inspire me as well. I remember listening to one song (it might have been Green Light by Lorde, but I don’t remember for sure) on repeat as I wrote a specific part of a recent project. Other songs represent certain characters or relationships, and just hearing those makes me instantly think of the fictionals I associate with them.
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Definitely! Both of those soundtracks are great ones! I can definitely relate to the character piece as I get certain themes for those characters stuck in my head as themes for MY characters!