“Listen to music to find a way into the story you’re telling. Music is incredibly evocative: find the right piece that reflects the world you’re writing about and you’re halfway there.” –Anthony Nelison by way of Deanna Willis. (Hopefully I’ve attributed that correctly)
Music is a driving force with a lot of writers. I know writers that use it as a soundtrack to their novels, I know writers that use it as a prompt to start their stories, I even know writers who prefer to write in quiet.
I can’t say I’ve ever been a writer who bases a novel or a story around a soundtrack. I’ve considered it, but I tend to get sidetracked by the music. I started singing at a very early age (and took voice lessons for a while as a teenager— despite never wanting to be center stage) so I tend to get caught up in the vocal patterns and the actual music when I’m listening.
And I’m the type that listens to all kinds of music. My iPod has everything from show tunes to classical. From Irish ballads to Irish pub. I’ve got classic rock and modern pop (I blame some of that on my mom and sister). I’ve even got jazz. There are music soundtracks and foreign (to me) songs. I’ve even got a little bit of old school rap. Honestly with that eclectic mix, it’s a wonder I get anything done. But at least it keeps me entertained.
That being said, I do have two stories that were based on songs or the idea of songs. While I’ve never used a series of songs as a soundtrack, I have used two songs to build a story around. One has since been removed due to wanting to edit it more, but the other is still able to be read online for the time being. Drunken Scotsman is loosely based on a song by one of my favorite bands.
So what do you use music for? Do you use it at all in your writing? Or is it just something that gets you through the day? Is it a companion to your writing? Or do you use a soundtrack like some of the writers I’ve read lately? What’s your favorite writing song? What song have you used to write a story to? What would you consider the best song or genre for writing?