Music and writing

I’m sure you’ve heard of people saying how they just love music. What’s not to love? I don’t just love music, I need it like air. At any point during my waking hours, I will have music playing somewhere around me. At work, I either listen to Cd’s or Internet radio. At home (working on my manuscript, reading, editing) I’m listening to satellite radio. In my car, I’m listening to my satellite radio. In fact, when I don’t have music, I start feeling a little freaked out. When I was younger, I used to even sleep with my radio on (but I kept having weird dreams. The songs would filter into my subconscious mind and I’d end up dreaming about whatever song was on. Case in point, ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ by Bob Dylan. I had a dream about ‘Napoleon in rags and the language that he used’. Yes, I dreamed that Napoleon was cursing at me. It’s funny now, but I was freaked out as a teenager.)

So, when I’m writing, the thing that matters most to me is what kind of music I’m listening to. For those of you who haven’t checked out my profile, I’m something of a metal head. I love heavy metal music. I find it exhilarating and motivating. However, when I write, the last thing I want to do is listen to speed metal. Searching for just the right song for a particular scene matters!

I remember when I was working on a love scene for my completed manuscript. It just so happened that the station I was listening to prior to that scene, suddenly decided to play Ministry’s ‘Jesus Built my Hotrod’ which is most definitely speed metal. It’s fast, aggressive, loud, and somewhat annoying. So what happened? My poor hero didn’t give a good showing. Tsk. Does that mean that I instantly changed genres and put on some love music? Of course not. My characters wouldn’t stand for Michael Buble crooning about ‘swaying’ even if I consider it a good song. They were okay with REO Speedwagon though.

I’ve looked at other authors’ playlists and I’m afraid that if I were to put one together for my first manuscript, it would read something like this:

‘Oblivion’ by Mastodon
‘Sink into Me’ by Taking Back Sunday
‘Two Weeks’ by All That Remains
‘Wolves at the Door’ by Senses Fail
‘I Get Off’ by Halestorm
‘Baptized by Fire’ by Spinnerette
‘Die, Die, my Darling’ by Misfits
‘Anarchy in the U.K.’ by Sex Pistols
‘Straight Outta Compton’ by N.W.A.

Plus many more. Not exactly songs that make you think of love and romance, are they? Hm. So maybe music doesn’t play as much of a part during my writing as I thought? I suppose I’ll have to get my book to readers before I make that distinction.


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