Music Suggestions for Writing

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Regan Leigh
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Music Suggestions for Writing

Post by Regan Leigh » August 27th, 2010, 10:05 pm

*I haven't seen a thread like this, but if I missed one then just ignore me. :D*

I'm a huge music fan. I need music when writing. :) I thought it would be nice to have a thread where we could suggest songs or musicians that aid in our own writing.

For example, someone on Twitter just said they loved using the soundtrack for The Ring.

I am SOOO using that for when I write my horror novel. ;)

I like music from people like Philip Glass when getting in the zone.

Radiohead is my favorite band, so I must suggest them. :D

Example for a love song:

Example for a fight scene:

Example for a death scene:

Um, did I warn you that I'm a bit odd and eclectic with my tastes? :D I'd love to find out what music other people use for writing!

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Re: Music Suggestions for Writing

Post by Leonidas » August 27th, 2010, 10:24 pm

Honestly, it depends on what I'm writing. For one of my WiPs, most of the music is Breaking Benjamin, but especially these two songs:

Linkin Park's latest inspired a drabble featuring the characters from that WiP last night:

I also listen to a lot of soundtracks, like the soundtrack to Stop Loss, an incredible movie:

For my other WiPs, I listen to everything from Poets of the Fall's Carnival of Rust to Peter Bradley Adams.

Music is a huge part of my creative process.

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Re: Music Suggestions for Writing

Post by steve » August 27th, 2010, 10:40 pm

Read one of the best stories by Borges.

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Re: Music Suggestions for Writing

Post by stephmcgee » August 27th, 2010, 11:06 pm

I usually just have iTunes on shuffle when I'm writing. But with my last book when it came time to write my big battle at the climax, I created a battle anthem playlist.

"The Mob Song" from Disney's Beauty and the Beast
"Battle" by Colbie Caillat
"Narissa Arrives" from Disney's Enchanted
"Bells of Freedom" by Bon Jovi
"Do You Hear the People Sing" from Les Miserables
"The Attack on Rue Plumet" from Les Miserables
"First attack" from Les Miserables
"Second Attack/The Final Battle" from Les Miserables
"The Treason of Isengard" from Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
"The Bridge of Khazad Dum" from Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
"The Ride of the Rohirrim" from Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
"The Fields of Pelennor" from Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
"The Riders of Rohan" from Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
"Helm's Deep" from Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
"I'll Make a Man Out of You" from Disney's Mulan
"The Swordfight" from Phantom of the Opera (movie soundtrack)
"Swords Crossed" from Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
"Savages (Part 1)" from Disney's Pocahontas (mainly for the war drums' beat)
"Savages (Part 2)" from Disney's Pocahontas (again for the drums)
"Falcon in the DIve" from The Scarlet Pimpernel (Broadway soundtrack)
"Into the Fire" from The Scarlet Pimpernel (Broadway soundtrack)
"The Duel [Instrumental]" from The Scarlet Pimpernel (Broadway soundtrack)
"Battle Hymn of the Republic" from The Singles Ward soundtrack

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Re: Music Suggestions for Writing

Post by maybegenius » August 28th, 2010, 3:27 am

This is my personal "Writing Radio" on Pandora:

I listen to a lot of relaxed rock, folk, and indie music while writing. Not too loud or involved, because I have trouble concentrating otherwise. The artists on my station generally soothe me and speak to me while I write :)
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Re: Music Suggestions for Writing

Post by jkmcdonnell » August 28th, 2010, 5:33 am

I've been meaning to post something like this! And my biggest rec at the moment is the INCEPTION soundtrack - I just downloaded it and it is AMAZING. I can't listen to it without thinking up a new scene for my WIP.

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Re: Music Suggestions for Writing

Post by Diamonte » August 28th, 2010, 1:49 pm

I often write to soundtracks. Inception and Lord of the Rings are two of my favorite. Lyrics start getting distracting because too often, I start listening to them and will either start copying them down in my own writing without realizing it, or just stop writing to sing along.

Another favorite of mine is Justin Beiber. I kid you not. Just listen to it.

I often attach specific songs to characters. For example, Soldier by Ingrid Michaelson fits the narrator of my Steampunk novel very well. It's one of my favorite songs. Even if I don't listen to it while writing, I sometimes warm up before writing by putting it on repeat two or three times. If you're not familiar with the song, please look it up. It's about how love is scary and frightening but you just have to face the future and hope for the best.

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Re: Music Suggestions for Writing

Post by craig » August 28th, 2010, 4:00 pm

If I'm hooked on to the internet, I listen to various SomaFM internet radio stations -- found at I typically listen to Beat Blender, but there are a few others I'll be trying out soon. (They have Space Station Soma -- might be good since I write sci-fi! I have to check it out!)

If I'm not hooked on to the internet, then I've got a playlist of a couple hundred songs that are very wide and varied and mostly unheard of by the general population -- but it covers pop, electronica, rock (from light to very hard), folk, indie, singer/songwriter, and many things that defy classification.

Usually, I tend to listen to Soma FM rather than my own playlist as I listen to my music when I'm driving, reading, and doing many other things. But whatever I listen to, it has to be... dark and chill... as that tends to be what my writing is like. (I think...)

(I'm listening to that Justin Bieber vid you posted, Diamonte... it's... oddly dramatic so far...)

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Music that inspires you

Post by hulbertsfriend » September 2nd, 2010, 9:36 pm

I'm curious if anyone here listens to music when they write. What is your favorite song that inspires you?

For me, "Cinnamon Girl" by Neil Young and Crazy Horse, LIVE seems to get me writing when I can't get motivated? This song works really well when writing a female character's actions... Just me? How about you?

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Re: Music Suggestions for Writing

Post by sierramcconnell » September 7th, 2010, 3:08 pm

My Instrumental folder alone is over 7 Gigs. It grew to be about that size when I started seriously writing.

I will recommend going to AmazonMP3 and looking in the Free Album section. They've got wonderful things there. They also have sales for $5 and $5.99 albums.

I'm a shameful purchaser of "by the cover" at times, but it usually always pays off since I can listen to samples first. :3

Here at work, my entire music folder is 17 Gigs, and I know the one at home has more stuff in it. It's ridiculously large. I especially love Background Music. I have FSTs made up for my books, but they usually need updating frequently. At least characters have songs. XD

Right now I'm listening to less instrumental and more dark pop and dance because I'm ramping up for NaNo 2010, and Eden Underground, my next novel. :3 It's about Watchers and Nephilim, too, but modern day and more punk.

A complete 180 from the Victorian Steampunk. The music reflects this. XD

Currently, I recommend these:

Imogen Heap
Florence + the Machine
Thriving Ivory
Sarah Brightman
Within Temptation

Free Albums:
Trippin' Rhythyms Sampler
Ryko Flash of Light Sampler
Music In Progress, Vol. II Sampler
Paper Bag Records Fall '09 Sampler
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Re: Music Suggestions for Writing

Post by Nathan Bransford » September 7th, 2010, 9:17 pm

Just about the only music I can listen to while writing is Gustav Holst's "The Planets":

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Re: Music Suggestions for Writing

Post by Emily J » September 7th, 2010, 9:38 pm

Jupiter was always my favorite!

I find that specific songs and specific artists work for certain projects. My current WiP, there are several Deathcab for Cutie songs that always bring to mind a certain scene or a specific character.

But, there are definitely times when I prefer instrumental music because lyrics can be distracting. The Firebird and Carmina Burana are up there for most awesome classical music ever.

And one last trick, I also enjoy listening to songs in other languages. That way, I can listen to singing without getting distracted by what they are saying (I suppose that is true for Orff as well). I like Edith Piaf and Utada Hikaru.

Apparently I also have eclectic taste in music. (sometimes techno works as well :) )

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Re: Music Suggestions for Writing

Post by Sommer Leigh » September 8th, 2010, 8:38 am

I like music playing when I write, but I can't write if there are lyrics that I will start singing in my head when I want to be typing. Lately I have really enjoyed listening to anything by Sigur Ros. Their songs aren't lyrics heavy to begin with, and what they do sing is in Icelandic, so score! I'm not going to accidentally type anything they say.

Also their music is very emotional. Which I like.

I also listen to the 28 days later soundtrack, Inception soundtrack, and sometimes just tracks of weather. I have a few thunderstorms in my MS that play a role in certain important scenes, so I tend to listen to thunderstorm tracks when I am writing/editing/rewriting those.
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Re: Music Suggestions for Writing

Post by gilesth » September 8th, 2010, 10:09 am

I listen to the Harry Potter soundtracks, DJ Krush (Japanese guy notable for being the first DJ to use a turntable as a musical instrument, rather than just loops and playback), and random instrumental Jazz (not "smooth jazz" which is actually more New Age...real Jazz from the 30s - 50s).

If I'm in the zone enough to not get distracted by lyrics, I listen to:

Breaking Benjamin
MC Frontalot
Jamie Cullum
Gaelic Storm
Flogging Molly
Linkin Park

And of course there's dozens more (I grew up in the music industry, so I LOVE music and listen to a lot of different things). One of my favorite artist, though, is this guy:

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Regan Leigh
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Re: Music Suggestions for Writing

Post by Regan Leigh » September 8th, 2010, 10:57 pm

I'm loving the diversity in music here. :) It's funny, but I have no problem listening to songs with lyrics. Then again, I usually play songs I know really well and they fade into the background for me. If it were a new album, I'd have issues. :)

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