Most people have a song that reminds them of some past memory, but very few have songs that make them think of something that hasn’t even happened yet. Writing while listening to music (or after you listen for those of us who can’t concentrate with noise) is like putting a soundtrack to a written movie – it complements the action in the scene. And while this music won’t be playing alongside your words as the reader reads them, it does play an important role in the overall feeling of a scene and how you create it. For me, certain music often sounds like it would accompany a particular type of scene (in which case I use these songs as inspiration for writing that type of scene). For example…
Sometimes I associate songs with particular actions because they’ve been used in a movie soundtrack before, like this next song used in Elf over a shot of a bustling New York City crowd.
Pennies from Heaven – Louis Prima
Then again, some songs are from soundtracks you’ve never heard, yet you can get a sense of the dramatic mood and feeling as it plays out an imaginary sequence of events in your mind.
Overture (Halo 3 OST) – Martin O’Donnell & Michael Salvatori
And many songs simply sound like they come from a foreign place, which can be essential when writing about a land far away.
Esta Soledad – Carla Morrison
Then you’ll hear a song that you’re just really in to, but you have absolutely no idea why or how you could use it. Like this next one…is it a trippy city street action sequence? Some weird psycho killer’s jam before he kills someone? Think Quentin Tarantino here, people.
From Rusholme with Love – Mint Royale
Now it’s your turn. How does this song make you feel? What does it remind you of? What kind of scene would you write to go along with it? Let me know in the comments.
Thistled Spring – Horse Feathers
**Also check out What I’m Inspired By: Photography for even more inspiration!