Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thursday's Children - Does Your Story Have a Sound?

Like a lot of people, I often listen to music while I write. Sometimes it's to drown out the ambient noises of living with teenage boys, a husband, three cats and a phone that rarely stops ringing, and other times it's to help put me in the right frame of mind for the story I'm working on at the moment or a particular scene.

Each book has it's own soundtrack/playlist, but sometimes, I'll just put a specific track on repeat. I can't say that I'm actively listening to the music - at least not past the first ten or fifteen minutes - but having it play in the background helps me keep my focus.

My current WIP involves the Sidhe, the forest, death, sacrifices and the beginnings of a romantic relationship so I needed to pull together a collection of songs that would put me in the right zone while writing. And I should mention that I don't always use music, but depending on the story, ambient sounds work beautifully, too.

For instance, most of my WIP takes place outside near Lake Superior and in portions of the Hiawatha National Forest, so depending on what I'm writing, I'll play a loop of forest sounds, thunderstorms or the audio from the video of the lake shore waves that I took this past summer.

As for songs, this particular manuscript involves a lot of Celtic or Celtic-influenced artists like Kate Rusby, Loreena McKennitt, Circa Paleo, Faun,Susan McKeown and Kate Price.

There are also some great tracks by Joseph Arthur, Counting Crows, Howie Day, Oasis, Ryan Adams, Tori Amos, Ani Difranco, Mumford and Sons, Tracy Chapman, Snow Patrol, Dar Williams and Brandi Carlile, Catie Curtis and Abney Park.

So what about you? Do you listen to music while you write? If so, please share! Here are a few of my favorites that I thought I'd share with you :).

Kate Rusby's take on the traditional "I Am Stretched On Your Grave" Joseph Arthur's "In the Sun"


  1. I tend to listen to a song prior to writing, to get into a particular mood, and then turn everything off to actually write. LOVE Snow Patrol and Howie Day. Both have places in my work. Great post, great music! Wheels turning. Maybe I'll piggyback off your post for next week...

    1. Thanks! I love music almost as much as I love reading and writing. I always love to hear what other people are listening to, so I'm looking forward to your post whenever you decide to do it. :D

  2. I've never heard I'm Stretched on your Grave. Wow. I see why it inspires you. For the novel I'm working on now...hmm. Tainted Love comes to mind.

    1. Tainted Love is one of my favorite road trip singalong songs! Thank you so much for stopping by! :)

  3. Great post! I always make playlists for my WIPs and I have other ones for "battle scenes" and "love scenes" etc. I am *such* a nerd. Ani Difranco got me through my first break up. "Untouchable Face"--enough said! Kristina x