Of the many tools I find particularly useful when creating a new novel, Scrivener, new notebooks and pens, occasionally a pencil or two and every so often Google Maps, one of the more underwritten about tools is that of the writing soundtrack I create for all of my books. Sometimes it’s songs that I would love to see in the film version of my book, but more often than not it’s songs that have a certain feel to them and motivate me to write the particular scenes necessary for any given book.
For instance if I need a dark, somber, mood or perhaps a tearful scene I have tracks that are emotional to me and that have the ability to make me cry. For intense action packed scenes I like to grab the soundtrack to an action movie and borrow that. And for everything in between there are just certain songs that I feel fit the mood of the story and can inspire me, so I compile them all into a playlist on Spotify, press shuffle and get to writing. Occasionally I still need to skip songs depending on the particular scene at hand, but for the most part the over all theme of the songs I’ve chosen seems to work rather well. I also have, unrelated to the story specific playlists, a writing playlist which houses slower songs, the occasional movie score—I’m particular to Philip Glass and his work on the Hours as well as Notes on a Scandal. Both excellent films by the way. There are a few jazz numbers, the occasional classical piece, two songs sung by Eartha Kitt that were both featured in the film Something’s Gotta Give, and for reasons I will never fully understand the main theme to Saw. Like my musical tastes outside of my story specific playlists and my writing playlist, it’s an eclectic and arguably strange compilation of seemingly unrelated songs that all manage to set the tone that I need them too, and in the end that’s all that really matters.
PS: Because you totally asked, occasionally in the background of all of this music I like to play my sounds of nature collection which is an hour long disc of rain and thunder. This without a doubt always manages to inspire me.
PPS: If anyone is interested I’d be more than happy to discuss the specific songs that can be found on the current playlist for my W.I.P.