Words In Music

I just finished the first book in Rachel Caine’s Stillhouse Lake series. I gobbled that book right up even though I knew who the villain was as soon as he was introduced. The protagonist was so wonderfully drawn that I wanted her to fight, to win, to be strong. I’ve pre-ordered the second book. This one had a satisfying ending but left open something I didn’t expect.

At the end the author listed the music she wrote the book to. Isn’t that a cool idea? I knew a few of the musicians because she listens to the same kind of music my husband does, like Birthday Massacre. But it was an eclectic list.

I’ve mentioned before here that I like to write to soundtrack music. It gives me lots of background drama. I also like Celtic music.

I’ve recently discovered the soundtrack to the new King Arthur, Legend of the Sword movie, thanks to my son. The music is perfect for the current work in progress.

Briefly, here is the music I wrote Sunshine on My Shoulders to.

Caravansary, Into the Forest, and The Bell Tower, by Kitaro

I Don’t Believe and The Start of Something New by Chrom

Everything by Two Steps From Hell (basically the people who make movie soundtracks)

Aran Boat Song by Darol Anger

Bring Me To Life by Evanescence

Demelza’s Song from the new Poldark series

Cows On The Hill by Jay Unger

The Expanse‘s opening music by Clinton Shorter

Jewels in Indra’s Web by Jami Sieber

Katuman Kaiku by Turisas

The Robin Hood soundtrack – the version with Russell Crowe

Song For Odessa by Spare Rib and the Bluegrass Sauce

Beyond the Night, from the Stargate Atlantis series

Hey Little Girl by Icehouse

And any music from the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter movies.

Obviously that’s a short list but I don’t want to bore you with more. You get the idea. It used to be, with previous manuscripts, that the music had to be instrumental. Lyrics distracted me as I paid too much attention to the stories within the songs.

But this time the lyrics actually faded somewhat into the background, and in some instances, like Song for Odessa, which is a ballad written for a woman we knew who died in an avalanche, the poignancy and loss in the lyrics added to the story, especially when writing about a character’s loss.

I imagine there are lots of writers out there who need silence to give their story space to be born. Not me though. With the exception of a couple scary scenes where I needed no music in order to hear if anything was creeping through the house, I like that background of music. It pulls up the emotions I need near the surface.

I also imagine this is true for all walks of life, not just for writers. What music do you consider your personal soundtrack?

2 thoughts on “Words In Music

  1. I’m one of those writers who needs silent — so I don’t get distracted from the story playing out in my mind. I know there are plenty of writers who love to (have to!) write to music. There are writers who can even write in public!! Imagine that!! I guess we all have our “have tos” — whatever works, right?!

    By the way, thanks for the list of music. I will enjoy listening… even though I won’t be writing while listening to it!

    • I edit to no music. I think the silence gives me more of a ‘working’ environment rather than a ‘creating’ one. When revising, music is a noisy distraction. But creating or editing, I’ve never been able to write out in public. Though, I know writers and artists who are at their best when in public. I wonder if being in public constitutes a music of ‘white noise’.

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