Music to Write By

Somewhere around the third and fourth revision of Legacy (Book One of the Keeper of the Sphere), I discovered that my choice of music to listen to while writing made a difference to my writing. I’d been listening to Celtic harp music for the most part, and while it is great for writing some scenes, it totally sucked for others.

For example, pleasant sounds of tinkling harp strings just doesn’t work for a torture scene.

No, for that you need something hard. Cruel. Mean.

So I dug out my old Nine Inch Nails CD and rewrote the scenes that were too soft.

The end result is, I think, much better. A bit gory, maybe, but it needed to be. After all, torture isn’t something neat and clean. No, it’s messy business.

While I’ve been working on Book Two, I’ve switched between the Skyrim soundtrack (three hours of nonstop music that alternates between battle stuff and sweet strains of mystical mayhem!) and other soundtracks, such as for Game of Thrones.

But today I need to write a special combat scene, and for that I need something … more. So I’m selecting the three albums I own by Wardruna, a Nordic hard folk group. That should set the scene nicely, as the music is hard-driving, make-your-pulse-pound stuff.

TL:DR: choose music appropriate for the scenes you want to write. It does make a difference.

Current status of WIP: 19K words on Book Two