Friday, October 16, 2009


Over the last couple years I've heard other writers talk about soundtracks for their novels (music they write by) and while I've never put one together for any of my writing I think it's a cool idea.

And while for some, music is a distraction, for others it's part of our daily life.  I know for me, I need some kind of noise when I write.  When I'm really focused on the story, I tune everything out but I still like to have it on in the background.  In fact, for my mystery novel, I write in our bedroom with the tv tuned to the XM radio station that plays music from the time of the story.  It's a way of connecting with my MC since I'm listening to the music that she would have been listening to.

Thing is, music has a great power to influence our moods and our mood tends to influence our writing.  So, if you are writing a romance, maybe a playlist of love songs would make the words flow easier.  For fantasy, maybe some celtic music would put you in the mood. 

Or, writing vampire fiction?  Check out Nox Arcana and their "Transylvania" album.  I call their music gothic but really like it. 

I'm not sure what would go with a mystery but maybe some classical for a literary novel.

Anyone else come up with soundtracks for their novels?  Got any suggestions?


  1. I can't stand any noise around me when I write. If I am doing something tedious like copying and pasting press releases I can have music on, but not for anything else.

    Since we just had our first flurries, I would probably pop in "Snow" by the von Trapp Children into the laptop while I work.


  2. I've never had an actual dedicated 'soundtrack' when I write that's specific for my book. I do like to put on musical scores from movies or video games, something with a rhythm.

    I grew up playing the clarinet and music reaches me on a different kind of level than anything. Don't know why, but when I was trying to stay awake in college doing comparative anatomy homework "Lord of the Rings" saved my life.

    Also, I think putting on my music lessens the other distractions around me like my beautiful stack of books waiting to be read and my fiance playing his video games. Music gives me the ok to tune everything out and write.

    - Chrissy

  3. I've never played with the music/novel connection either. However, when writing a couple weeks ago, I heard a song that had a great line in it that so totally fit with the scene I was about to write that I had to put it in the story.

    Too funny cheryl. I need noise of some kind in the background. I ususally tune it out but silence bothers me. Guess it's cause it's seldom silent here.:-)

  4. It's definitely something that happened to me after 35. When I was a kid I could do schoolwork and have the radio and/or TV on. In my 20's I always had music on, and my son used to fall asleep to his radio or my singing. It's like after the girls were born they created so much noise that my brain screamed, "Enough!" and even if they just call my name when I'm writing it totally messes me up.


  5. I have to avoid music with words while I'm writing, but instrumental is usually fine. I do sometimes try to match the feel of what I'm writing.

    The novel I want to work on during NaNo involves bluegrass music, so I usually will let iTunes play my bluegrass instrumental playlist while I work with it. I also try to listen to the song it's title is take from to keep me inspired.