Writing Tip

Placeholder ImageWriting to Music

Music has often sparked writing ideas for me.  I can read music and played in the band in high school, but I have rarely performed any kind of music since then, so I am an amateur when it comes to music and still find it inspiring.

Songs don’t work as well for me as pieces without words.  Most people are so language-driven that the lyrics grab your attention and steer your imagination whether you want it to or not.  I prefer grand symphonic pieces that sound like somebody is saving the world and Celtic music.  I also try to broaden my musical tastes.  I created a character who grew up in India and listened to music from the country.

Select a piece without words.  As you listen, just jot down feelings or phrases, or you may want to listen to the entire piece before you write anything, letting your imagination soar.  Keep listening to the piece as you write down more and more of your inspiration.  But if you start getting tired of it, stop listening.  Go back to the piece after a break.  Your inspiration will dry up if repeated listening only annoys you.

If you have only listened to current popular songs, I recommend trying movie soundtracks to introduce you to orchestra works.  Soundtrack for movies like Star Wars, the Marvel movies, or just about any action-adventure movie usually have driving orchestra pieces with strong melodies that make them easy to listen to.


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