author, creative writing, writers, writing

Creating a writing playlist – the soundtrack to your story

Last week on the blog, we spoke about Preptober, and how to get yourself NaNoWriMo ready. One of the things mentioned was making a writing playlist. Whether you’re taking part in National Novel Writing Month or not, it can still be really satisfying and inspiring to have a writing playlist. So, here are some tips on how to make one.

Pick your platform
Decide which music platform or streaming service you’re going to use. It might be Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, amongst others. Get yourself set up and make a playlist that you can add to as inspiration strikes. You might name it after your story title, or even just ‘writing playlist.’ It’s up to you…use your imagination!

Save songs that relate to your story
Sometimes, you will listen to a song that reminds you of your story. It might feel like the lyrics match the themes in your book, or the music matches the tone of your story. Add any songs like this to your playlist, and as you listen to music remember to save any that make you think of your plot, or characters, or emotions.

Work out what music your characters enjoy
It can help you connect to your characters to consider the music they’d enjoy. It might not be your personal preference, but it’ll help you get into their mindset. A character in my current book is a huge Springsteen fan, for example. This fact help me develop an idea of what he was like as a teen, what his interests were, and has made him a more authentic character all round.

Consider instrumental tracks
Music is about so much more than words, and often instrumental tracks can create a bigger sense of atmosphere. YouTube can be a particularly good place to find these tracks, or even stock music sites. You can search for particular types of soundtrack, like romantic overtures, dramatic tracks full of tension and urgency, or mystical music with an element of magic.

Find ambience inspired soundtracks
Look for ambience inspired soundtracks that match the location of your story. It might be sounds from a forest, the seaside, or a big city. This can also settle you into the mood for your story, as well as inspiring your descriptions and adding authenticity to your characters’ surroundings.

Do you have playlists that you listen to when you’re writing? What songs relate to your current work in progress? Comment below.

Until then,
Keep writing,

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11 thoughts on “Creating a writing playlist – the soundtrack to your story”

  1. Ugh! I can’t write with music playing – too distracting. I will play something beforehand to get in the mood and during breaks but never while! I’m a Brit but I usually go for something by JOURNEY – but I do mix it up with FOREIGNER, ALAN PARSONS, STEVE MILLER (can’t beat ‘Abracadabra’ if you want to get in the mood for writing something funny or saucy) but no ‘playlist’ as I don’t have a gadget to put one one lol.
    I don’t write fantasy but for anyone out there who does and hasn’t come across TWO STEPS FROM HELL and want something stirring and epic in the background then I recomend you give them a try.
    Two Steps From Hell – Strength of a Thousand Men – YouTube

    Liked by 1 person

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