Music to motivate the muse

Nashville own Kings of Leon
Nashville's own Kings of Leon

     I have always had to have music to listen to as I write.  Even when I was working on the Scottish epic, I listened to bagpipes and celtic music.  As I started to develop Broken, music became very important, because the hero is afterall the lead singer of a rock band.  I think I spent just as much time searching for the right songs and creating a playlist ( that’s a mile long) for my hero and his heroine, as I did writing the story.  I have songs like the Foo Fighter’s “Pretender” and 3 Doors Down’s “Not My Time” that I see the hero singing on stage.  Then I have background music, like The Smith’s “How Soon is Now” for when the heroine first sees the hero.  And I have the love song, actually two.  One has all the lyrics that capture how I think my two characters feel about one another.  It’s forbidden love that is so powerful and Garabage’s “#1 Crush” just echoes that feel so well.  Their other love song, well of course it’s Sarah Mclachlan’s “Angel”.

     Now I am working on this new YA story and all I listen to is the Kings of Leon.  Their new album “Only by the Night” is so haunting and absolutely perfect for the action of the story.  In fact the first song that really fit into the story is “Crawl”.  I don’t want to spoil, but that song just reminds me of animals crawling and the heroine having to …well that’s spoiling.

     So I’m wondering who else must have a playlist?  Who else has muses that demand background music for everything little thing s/he does?  And what’s thier theme song? 

Here are my muses’ theme songs :

Caleb (from Broken) – Foo Fighter’s Pretender

Sarah (from Broken) – Seether’s Rise Above This

Kale (from Redd) – Kings of Leon’s Crawl

Heaven/Redd (from Redd) – Fiona Apple’s Criminal

Leath (from Haunted) – 3 Doors Down’s When I’m Gone

Caitlyn (from Haunted) – Cake’s Short Skirt and a Long Jacket then later Evanescence’s Bring Me To Life


9 thoughts on “Music to motivate the muse

  1. I always have music playing the in background when I’m writing, but the volume varies from time to time, depending on how deep into the scene I am. I tend to association songs with scenes (mood music) rather than characters. For example, “Your Own Disaster” by Taking Back Sunday fit a scene on one of earlier novels so perfectly, I swear I must have written it to that song.

    PS — great blog design!

  2. Try DBSK-Last Angel or Mirotic or “O” or well… any of their songs (they’re also in Japanese as Tohoshinki). Koda Kumi is also really good.

    Super Junior “Don’t Don” or “Sorry, Sorry” is good to.

    KaTun is good or Se7en or Rain (Last Tango – there’s an English version)

    American… Evanescense … but also OK GO (they did the treadmill dance… awesome group.)

    Good job on the blog.

  3. I definitely use playlists. It’s one of my major writing procrastination tools. 😉 I think we all need a few little procrastination tools– it’s not always bad to let a story marinate while we do something like search for songs for a playlist!

  4. I defeinitely use instrumental, but it depends on what I’m writing. With the YA’s I just feel like rock n roll works best. I totally agree with the lyrics getting in the way of my own writing, that’s why I spend way too much time looking for the perfect song. 🙂
    I think I have more songs for the action, but I have these few particular songs that really sum up the characters too.
    Thanks for some great suggestions April! I asked a friend to send me some ideas for a playlist becasue she had read the rough/first draft of Broken and she never got back to me.
    Thanks Lynne
    You guys rock, I am definitely going to have to try this blogging thing more often.

  5. I definitely listen to music when I write. Mostly instrumental and soundtracks. Some of my characters have theme songs, Princess by David Arkenstone suits my heroine Annie. Misconstruction by Apocalyptica is one that fits my hero Niell.

    Good luck with your blog!

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