Music in Writing

“…When the spring is cold
Where do robins go
What makes winter lonely
Now at last I know…”
~Now At Last by Feist

Now, I don’t know about anyone else but when I do my writing, serious writing, I usually have some kind of music on. It’s been that way for as long as I’ve been writing. I’m also fairly particular about what can be playing. Most of the time, I can’t focus if the music has words in it. Even words in other languages screw me up. Opera for instance. Choral stuff in the backround doesn’t seem to bother me too much, although come to think of it, when “Duel of the Fates” comes up on shuffle I usually stop what I’m doing to listen to it…hmmm…anyway.

I’ve found that instrumental stuff works best. And movie soundtracks in particular. As such I am way more aware of movie composers than probably most people. Hans Zimmer is great. Classic John Williams is fantastic and some of his new stuff is pretty good too (Prisoner of Azkaban is brilliant). Oddly enough the soundtrack that seems to be carrying me through “Freddy” the best so far is from Stargate, composed by David Arnold- who hasn’t really composed much else that I’m aware of. For some reason Stargate just fades away into the background for me when I’m writing. It’s weird, because usually the soundtrack I’m writing ties in to the story for me somehow, and Alien Ancient Egyptians actually have no associations for me with “Freddy.”

Although I also bought the soundtrack to HBO’s Rome TV series recently and that is bang on with the feel and tone I’m shooting for on “Freddy”. So that has been racking up the play counts too. I bought the first season soundtrack from Hercules the Legendary Journeys TV show for the same reason (Anyone else remember that show?) but it’s proving to be too goofy for me; I’m too aware of it when I’m trying to ooze into my writing groove.

When I was writing my last MS “Garwaf,” my family was in a different house and we had a TV in the computer area, so I basically wrote that book with Ripley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven playing in the background on TV. I bought the soundtrack to the movie but for some reason the movie itself worked better. That had never happened before.

I had one book where the soundtracks I rotated between were Disney’s Pocahontas and Empire Strikes Back. Go figure. I had another MS which was a fantasy romance novel where the abiding music for me was the soundtrack from the 1955 Oklahoma.

And now I need to turn off the Frou Frou that I have playing in the background while I internet so I can switch on some “writing music” and get to work before I have to get up at 5am tomorrow for work. Urgh.

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