I is for Inspirational Music
When writing, I usually listen to music. It does a lot to guide the scene and evoke the emotions I’m looking for. I can only hope that the emotion I feel from the music translates into the writing.
The type of music I’ll use varies based on the scene. If it’s an action scene I listen to fast-paced, suspenseful music. Sad scenes need break up songs. Confrontational scenes are best accompanied by angsty rock.
I even have playlists set-up that correspond with each type of scene I write, and have gone as far as making playlists for specific characters. I go through my library and pick out the songs that character would have on their iPod. That only becomes difficult when I run into a character who doesn’t care much for music. Yes, they do exist.
The other inspiration I get from music is the desire to actually sit down at the keyboard and do it. I love writing but, like with anything else, there are days when I just don’t want to do it. I want to be lazy. I want to sit in front of the TV and watch 3 episodes of the Walking Dead or spend a few hours reconnecting with my XBOX.
I’ve found certain songs make me feel like sitting down and putting in the time to get my writing done for the day, and it’s usually surprising where it comes from.
I’m a huge fan of Macklemore’s album entitled The Heist. I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t that the guy who did that song about the Thrift Shop. Yup, that’s him. But beyond that, you’ll find songs with powerful messages supporting gay rights, anti-violence, and dealing with addiction.
The ones that I gravitate toward most talk about how he got to where he is. How it took dedication and hard work because no one would do it for him except. This is a message that transcends music and can be applied to just about anything.
Before you go and buy this album, be warned, it’s a rap album. It’s not the usual rap that condones drugs and gang violence, but it is still rap. There’s also swearing. It’s not overdone like a lot of rap is, but it’s there. So if you don’t like rap or swearing, we’ll have to find you some other kind of music.
Lately, I’ve been finding what I need in instrumental pieces. Not classical, but still orchestral pieces. I’ve been finding most tracks from television and motion picture soundtracks. That lead me to some of the composers that are working today.
Music like this is much more versatile. Without words to get in the way, a song can mean anything to anyone. It can change, meaning one thing today and another tomorrow. A single song apply to a somber scene as well as an inspirational one.
If you want a place to start, sample some songs from the soundtracks of Inception, Sunshine, 28 Days Later, and Doctor Who. This will lead you down a rabbit hole of other soundtracks done by those composers as well as music not made for TV or movies.
I want to hear some comments on what kind of music gets you going. I need some new stuff to keep me writing!
Tomorrow, I put the J in J.W. Martin!