Monday, April 25, 2011

Writing and Music

I love to listen to music when I write.

I used to be strictly an instrumental writing-music kind of girl: Debussy's Reverie, Ray Lynch's Celestial Soda Pop, Ravel's Bolero. Sometimes I listened to more fantasy-mood type music: Enya, Loreena McKennitt, Neverending Story soundtrack, or the scores from various Cirque du Soleil shows. While I wrote Ice, I listened to "Arctic Echoes" by Dan Gibson. It includes walrus noises. I'm betting there aren't many songs out there that include walrus grunts.

Drink, Slay, Love was the first novel that I wrote with an actual playlist, which I'll share closer to the book's release.

Lately, I am loving starting my writing sessions with "you can do it!" anthems, like Katy Perry's Firework, Athena Cage's All or Nothing, or Eminem's Lose Yourself. But my current favorite is:

I am mildly embarrassed to adore a song by a man who inserts punctuation into his name.

Do you work to music? If so, what kind?

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At 11:56 PM, Blogger Q said...

It has to not have lyrics or be too familiar. Lyrics make my brain hurt, because it can't understand two steams of words at once, and if it's too familiar I'll just hum along to the song instead of working. It has to turn into white noise that also blocks out other music that might be trying to get stuck in my head (because my brain can't deal with two strains of music at once either, so if I have an external one without lyrics it'll drive any internal ones with lyrics out).

At 1:18 AM, Blogger SavyLeartist said...

I can't WAIT for Drink, Slay, Love!!!

I write to a playlist of Bollywood, Evanescence and Beethoven...I should probably seek musical-mental help :P

At 10:22 AM, Blogger Jamie Todd Rubin said...

I would love to be able to listen to music when I write, but with rare exception, if I listen to music, I either hear the music and can't write, or write and don't hear the music.

So normally, I pop on the Bose noise-cancelling headset and write in manufactured silence.

At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I write, the songs have to remind me of the elements of the story. For the current story Im writing--an urban fantasy--I'm listening to a lot of Marilyn Manson, Slipknot, Ozzy Osbourne etc. But for my previous story--a steampunk set in Ireland--I listened to a lot of celtic inspired music, and to Abney Park, a steampunk band. :3

At 1:54 PM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Q: I especially like music with lyrics when I'm working on a first draft. The overly-critical part of my brain sings along, and the rest of me is free to get work done. :)

SavyLeartist: I thought my playlist was eclectic, but you win.

Jamie: I've used a Bose headset when there's construction nearby. Music is great, but the sound of a truck beeping as it backs up drives me crazy.

nl-mars: I've always loved Celtic music. For Drink, Slay, Love, I found a whole bunch of songs about vampires to fill my playlist.

At 5:52 PM, Blogger Lauren said...

I gotta ask:

At any point during the writing of Drink, Slay, Love did you listen to Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor? :D

At 8:46 PM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Lauren: I didn't. Is that Bach's vampire composition?

At 10:44 PM, Blogger Lauren said...

Indeed! Quite gothic.

At 12:13 AM, Anonymous A.W said...

Well when I was working on a book about adventure ,computers , humans and elves I listened to a LOT of Enya.

Currently I am working on a detective novel(Crime Chasers) I am listening to Taylor Swift. Namely the song One Way Ticket .


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