The Marriage of Words and Music

March 18, 2011

I’m not talking lyrics here—but I do appreciate them. No, I’m talking about the marriage of the words I write to the music I hear. I rarely write in silence. In fact, the only time I do is during editing when I read a manuscript out loud. Sometimes I turn the music down so when the playlist shuffles I’m not startled by Eminem when what I really need is some Adele. Sometimes I keep the same song on repeat until I’ve written a scene or an entire chapter.

When I’m stuck, I put on a certain song, listen to the lyrics, feel the emotion and before long I’m unstuck. My H&Hs have their own songs, just like my husband and I do. My H&Hs have their own playlists too. I think of the songs I handpick for their stories as the soundtrack to their lives.

I think it all boils down to enriching the writing experience. I’ve heard of writers who write near a sunny window or with fresh cut flowers on their desks. Some don’t sit down at the computer until they’ve poured a glass of wine. They’re not interested in writing drunk; they’re simply enriching the experience.

How do you enrich the writing experience?   Does music play a part in your creative writing process? Something else?

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One Response to “The Marriage of Words and Music”

  1. Cynthia Says:

    I used to writing with something playing in the background and I used to do my best work during hockey games on TV but now I need silence and that’s a problem.

    I do believe in the power of certain songs or even soundtracks. My husband listens to Pirates and Master and Commander while building his military models because they’re so regal sounding.

    Me? Haven’t yet found the soundtrack that suits my writing style.

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