I've been playing the piano for nine years.
I play music while I work on school.
I hum when I'm bored.
I sing when I'm happy.
I help with worship at our Church.
My mom plays the piano.
My sister plays the guitar.
Music plays a rather large role in my life. There is rarely a time when there is not something musical going on at our house. Though, despite all the musical influence in my life, when I first started writing, I never even thought of turning on a movie soundtrack in the background. I wrote thousands of endless words, all with no sound. (Besides the occasional conversation in the background.)
And then, one day, I'm not exactly sure what led me to do this, but I turned on some music, and started to type, and type, and type. The music inspired me. I was in my story, connecting with my characters, and the epic music I played raised the tension in the scene. In a way, it helped me to write better.
Now it has become such a vital part of my writing process, that it's hard for me to write without music.
And here are three reasons why I think playing music while writing is important.
1. It can help set the emotion of the scene.
To put it bluntly, without emotion in a story, the story is very boring. You can kill off characters and torture your darlings all you want, but without emotion, the reader won't feel anything. They won't care.
Emotion can be hard to write, especially if you aren't particularly excited or 'into' writing that scene. But when I put the headphones into my ear and put on the music, it helps immensely. Just like when the hero confronts the villain for that final battle in a movie, tense music plays and increases the suspense. If happy and bouncy music played... It would be a lot different.
Music is easy to find, but what about finding the right music for a certain scene?
I've mentioned it before, (in this post specifically) but it deserves another post. Soundfuel is a blog compiling hundreds of different songs into various albums mixed by genres/scenes/settings/etc. Below are just a few of the categories it offers:
The picture should bring you to the page, but otherwise here is the link for the directory: http://soundfuel.blogspot.com/p/the-directory.html.
2. Music is totally inspiring.
Unless you're listening to depressing music. But that's besides the point. It's incredible what the power of music can do. Before you start writing, turn on the music and listen. Picture the scene you're going to write. Get excited about it. Get motivated. Music is a huge help with that.
3. Music can help you focus.
Music takes away the background noises. You won't be tempted by the TV with headphones in your ear. You won't be distracted by other conversations in the house while you're typing away. Music brings you one step closer to that fantasy world of imagination and one step out of reality.
But that being said, music can also distract you. I don't listen to music with words. I become too caught up with the lyrics. I sing along and drum my fingers on the keys to the beat. I'm miles away from the writing zone.
Know what will distract you, and know what will keep you working. Adjust the volume. Try out different soundtracks. Find some songs with words, and then some without. Use music to your advantage.
- - - - - - - - - -
This post is part of the Teens can Write Too blog chain for February, the topic being, "How does music relate to your writing?"
- Katie Grace
How does music play a role in your writing? Do you have some favorite soundtracks to share? Comment below!