In film and television, a soundtrack can make or break the complexity of a scene. Pick the right song and the power of the scene deepens. Emotions heighten. Tension thickens. Pick the wrong song and the scene doesn’t pack the same punch.
While books are not as auditory as film, music can still be a powerful tool for a writer. In fact, it’s becoming a trend among writers to create soundtracks for their stories by listing songs in the back of the book or creating Spotify playlists on their websites. Here are a few ways to utilize your favorite songs to help you enhance your writing experience.
Put yourself in your character’s head.
Supernatural’s Dean Winchester would not be as awesome if he didn’t have his classic rock, nor would One Tree Hill’s Peyton Sawyer be as cool without her alternative punk. What kind of music does your character like? Is she a little bit country or a little bit rock? Create a playlist or pick a Pandora station that really captures who your character is and play it when you need to delve into their mindset.
Set the scene.
Could you imagine New Orleans without lively jazz or the rolling hills of Ireland without its magical reels? Music and setting go hand-in-hand. Pop in tracks that a unique to the time period and/or location where your story takes places, and let the music whisk you away to a place where your words flow and imagination runs wild in worlds unknown.
Get in your writing zone.
In addition to helping you enrich your characters and setting, music can also help you find your own personal focus. Whether it’s classical, country or R&B, crank up what ever songs help you relax and open up your mind, so you can write that kickass tale you’ve always dreamed of.
Write like no one is watching.