September 12, 2011

When Music and Writing Collide - by Anna

Today, I'd like to welcome my first guest post, woo! Meet my fantastic critique partner and friend Anna from Anime's Musings. If you've got time, please stop by her blog as well and check it out. I love her posts!


When Music and Writing Collide by Anna

Musical impacts on writing projects are often tell-tale. More often than not, for those that work with, live, and breathe music, there isn't a single scene written that isn't fueled by its influences. This isn't true for all writers, however, in my experience, most write with the help of those muses. Melodies could be playing quietly in the background to drown out all other noise, or blaring inside the writer's head with the help of trusty earbuds, but always ever present.

Music has always been present in everything I've ever written. Actually, it's present in everything that I do. I can never go anywhere without my iPod and there is never a car ride that goes without tunes. I find that the type of music I listen to always sets my mood. This is a good preparation for any scenes that I need to write or emotions that I want to convey to the reader through the pages. The varying beats and rhythms in each song tell a different story and in turn, help the writer to incorporate those differences in their own story. Ever been blood red pissed off and turned on Yiruma's River Flows in You or Debussy's Reverie? Or emo sad and turned on Train's Hey Soul Sister? I don't know about you, but the aforementioned songs are a few examples of ones that instantly change the mood I'm in.

Along with mood setting, music also helps with thought processing. I always have a jumble of thoughts floating in my head (okay, more like beating the crap out of each other for space in my head *laughs*), and music helps to act as an organizer, a sifter of sorts, so that I would be able to pull out those thoughts that I need for whatever I'm doing at the moment. This goes for all activities, but for the purposes of this post, we'll focus on writing.

Have you ever had an instance happen when you hear a song from your past and you're instantly reminded of an event? It's because we're programmed to connect our senses to different catalysts. Music is a catalyst. We immediately connect it with events, with emotions, with certain people - depending on what was happening at the time we heard the particular song.

I've gotten accustomed to assigning songs to different scenes that I write. Most times, in preparation for a particular scene or to help me pick back up from where I left off in the scene, I use the song to get my mindset back to that time, that place, with those characters, and the emotions they were feeling when we last parted.

How does music tie into writing for you? Is it helpful when constructing scenes, plots, characters, etc.? Do you work better with or without it?



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