Writing Soundtracks

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
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Leonidas
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Writing Soundtracks

Post by Leonidas » August 6th, 2010, 2:04 pm

Most of the writers I know play some sort of music when they're writing. Some people, though, can't write at all with music going. I'm one of the ones who needs to have music playing to write. If you do listen to music while you write, what sort of music do you listen to? For one of my WIPs, I'm listening to "gentler" songs, like Joshua Radin or Peter Bradley Adams. I don't own a heck of a lot of these types of songs, so I'm looking for suggestions, if anyone has any. It's a part historical, part fantasy, and part romance. (It'll be fun figuring out a genre to query if this ever gets that far)

My other WIP is lit. fic and I listen to Breaking Benjamin along with the scores of 300, Stop Loss, and Band of Brothers whenever I write for that one.

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AMSchilling
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Re: Writing Soundtracks

Post by AMSchilling » August 6th, 2010, 2:12 pm

Amazon has a pretty cool feature in their MP3 section. If you buy a couple of songs (and possibly just browse - not sure on that though), it starts giving you suggestions based on the type of music you've downloaded. Usually other groups that are either similar in sound/style, or groups that other users have bought that also bought what you did. It's not perfect, but it might be a good place to start for some suggestions?
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Harper Karcz
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Re: Writing Soundtracks

Post by Harper Karcz » August 6th, 2010, 2:39 pm

Leonidas: Do you use Pandora.com? I've never heard of the musicians you mentioned, but there's a good chance that you'll be able to start a Pandora station that helps you find similar-sounding music.

I use Pandora a lot when I write (as long as I can keep myself from surfing the Internet while I'm streaming Pandora). Used to be my New Pornographers indie-pop station was my most-played, but now it's either my Latin pop station or my Broadway classics station.
Having just the vision's no solution
Everything depends on execution.

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Leonidas
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Re: Writing Soundtracks

Post by Leonidas » August 6th, 2010, 2:48 pm

I just started to use Pandora, yeah.That's how I found Peter Bradley Adams. It's a pretty convenient site, especially because I hate conventional radio. What I do is stream Pandora from a computer and then handwrite whatever I'm working on, so there's no temptation of the internet. supposedly

really, I'm more interested in what everyone else listens to when they write.

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MedleyMisty
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Re: Writing Soundtracks

Post by MedleyMisty » August 10th, 2010, 10:24 am

I have so many writing playlists, it's not even funny. I think my main character (he's in my avatar :) ) has like five or six playlists just for him.

There's the EmoTeen!Seth playlist, which has emo/angsty 90s alternative songs (I was a teen in the 90s, so the music helps me remember what it was like). There's the ultraviolence playlist for the update where he beats someone up. It has some rap and hard rock. There's the beautiful letters playlist, which has Radiohead and Saltillo and classical music. There's the Valley Seth list, which has like almost 80 songs that all have to do with murder and/or insanity. ;)

The two most perfect Seth songs ever are actually by the same band and on the same CD. Possum Kingdom and I Burn, by the Toadies. :)

johndavid
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Re: Writing Soundtracks

Post by johndavid » August 10th, 2010, 11:50 am

I make a playlist for each book I write. I play music that sings about the theme of the book. I guess it keeps my mind on track.

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Re: Writing Soundtracks

Post by Sommer Leigh » August 10th, 2010, 12:31 pm

I can't listen to music while I write. It's too distracting for me.

However, during a very important part of my book in which my characters were escaping something terrible and there was a vicious thunderstorm chasing them, I listened to a bunch of videos of thunderstorm tracks on YouTube. It helped a lot.
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Emily J
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Re: Writing Soundtracks

Post by Emily J » August 10th, 2010, 12:37 pm

I don't have a playlist for each book, but I definitely have a few songs or a few bands that speak to the main character or the atmosphere of the novel.

Lately for my YA fantasy WiP I have been listening to a lot of Deathcab for Cutie, in particular Crooked Teeth.

But when I write I also tend to play songs that I like, currently been writing to Civil Twilight, The Servant for no other reason than I listen to them almost constantly.

adamg73
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Re: Writing Soundtracks

Post by adamg73 » August 10th, 2010, 6:14 pm

Emily J wrote:Lately for my YA fantasy WiP I have been listening to a lot of Deathcab for Cutie, in particular Crooked Teeth.
Good stuff!

CraftyCreations
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Re: Writing Soundtracks

Post by CraftyCreations » August 10th, 2010, 6:48 pm

I actually listen to an audiobook.

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IlGrido
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Re: Writing Soundtracks

Post by IlGrido » August 11th, 2010, 2:35 am

Might I suggest grooveshark.com, they have an abundant amount of streaming mp3s. It's all free, but you can VIP, which is the great part. Full albums too. I've been listening to James Brown and The Stax Singles lately while working on my short stories MS.

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IlGrido
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Re: Writing Soundtracks

Post by IlGrido » August 11th, 2010, 12:29 pm

Now Playing : Beach House - Teen Dream

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Nick
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Re: Writing Soundtracks

Post by Nick » August 11th, 2010, 2:18 pm

Music interferes with the creative process. If I even have one line of a song stuck in my head, I can't write until it's gone. 90% of the time if there's music, it's what my mind locks on to. The remaining 10% of the time it shifts a significant portion of its focus. I would stop writing to listen to the music, or adjust my writing to suit, and that's not my story then. That's the music's story.

When I do listen to music though, I tend to use Youtube. When I want music while I'm, say, running on the treadmill and cannot actively click on new songs, I use Grooveshark.

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Anatole
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Re: Writing Soundtracks

Post by Anatole » August 11th, 2010, 4:21 pm

Usually, music interferes with my writing, because I get caught up in the song . . . and start dancing around the room.
Once in a while I'll match a song with a scene that I'm writing, and will play it over and over so that the words/paragraphs/phrasing/etc. completely fit.
That really only applies to action scenes, and as such, I match some high-energy music to it -- usually a popular piece at that time, though some foreign pop can also work it's way in there.

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IlGrido
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Re: Writing Soundtracks

Post by IlGrido » August 11th, 2010, 9:40 pm

For me it's like I have to have music when I write. Also when I paint too. For some reason it gets my creative juices going. I think it has something to do with surrealism, like the music becomes the soundtrack and enhances the mood of the stories or poetry that I'm working on. Most of the music I listen to is pretty mellow though. Well, except for James Brown.

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