Thursday, 14 January 2010

Music to Write by

Welcome to the second blog of the week, which means I'm doing well and keeping with my January 'new start' spirit.

I feel as a writer it is important to make use of the tools around us and one tool that can be found throughout our lives is music. Not only is music enjoyable and condenses various emotions, statements and beliefs into a couple of minute but it can also stir feelings and passions within it's listeners.

Music can be used in two fantastic ways in writing. Firstly it can be a quick and easy way to encourage you to actually get some writing done. Everyone from time to time needs a bit of a kick up the rear to get some work done and I find the best method is in having a feeling of determination and drive and music can be a quick and easy way to generate this.

Listening to something such as Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' or U2's 'Beautiful Day' can get you motivated and in the right frame of mind to do something productive and it can be any song that works for you, it doesn't have to be upbeat. If you love Classical music try 'Nessun Dorma', it can be anything that makes you WANT to write.

Even if you are struggling to progress in a current piece and your issue is not doing the writing but knowing what to write you may still find this useful. Hopefully inspiring yourself with a feeling of motivation should help you work through any issues.

Music can also be used in the creative process itself. The amazing thing about music is its ability to express emotion and there is no reason this can not be tapped into for the creative process.

If you are writing a particularly emotional scene about the death of a character listening to music that portrays this will allow you to get in the appropriate mindset. You probably won't be able listen to the song while writing the scene without distraction but taking a few minutes to listen to an appropriate song beforehand could be helpful to the creative process and it allows you to fantasise about the soundtrack for when your book is turned into a film.

The only problem all this is of course is its potential to be a hindrance rather than a help. If you spend half your writing time scouring the Internet for appropriate songs for an argument scene then it is defeating the object. Always remember: do not get distracted by your tools, they are there merely for you to get the job done! But, to make life easier and procrastination less likely over the next few weeks I will be posting songs appropriate for various scenes or emotions.

Do not neglect the numerous tools we have available to us to inspire us as writers. Iain Banks stated in an interview with Jools Holland several years ago that he listens to music when writing. It is about whatever works, but remember, whether it's music, books or films that inspire you it should only ever be that, inspiration is good, copyright breach, which can be done unintentionally, is very bad. So always be careful that you are not 'overly inspired'.

Happy Writing



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