Monday, 19 April 2010

Setting the Scene... to music

I'm not the first writer to confess that music helps me write, nor will I be the last. I'll admit that there are times when I want/need nothing more than silence to be able to concentrate on a particularly difficult scene. More often than not, however, a particular song or piece of music will do wonders in helping me set the tone and mood of a scene. And tone and mood is so important to me... I can't write if either feels flat.

For instance, while writing ECHOES, there's a certain 'death scene' towards the end of the novel (no, I will not be mentioning who, what, when or how). And listening to Snow Patrol's 'Run' was absolutely perfect. Admittedly, writing the scene made me tear up anyway, but the song just amplified the mood and helped me construct the words better. I think. 

Then there are the faster, quicker-paced scenes, and listening to Michael Jackson's 'Smooth Criminal' made a particular one flow so much better than if I had written it to silence, or to any other kind of music. 

Of course, ninety per cent of the time, instrumental music works so much better for me than songs with lyrics, just because the lyrics in the latter can distract me from what I'm actually writing about, and the next thing I know, I've branched off from a poignant, tender love scene to something vaguely drug-related. Uh-huh. What a mess. I know. On the instrumental front, I love Immediate Music, Hans Zimmer pieces, Audiomachine... yikes, this list could go on.

So, for anyone who might be curious today, here's some of the music I listened to while writing ECHOES. (Hopefully, one day, people might get to read the book and it might then be clearer where each song fits in. Until then, or if that never happens, think of this as a glimpse into what went on behind the scenes, while the book unfolded.)

1.        Cinema Bizarre – Forever or Never
2.       Michael Jackson – Beat It
3.       Iron Maiden – Fear of the Dark
4.      Coldplay – Fix You
5.       AFI – This Time Imperfect
6.      Missy Higgins – Where I Stood
7.       Apocalypta – I Don’t Care
8.      Michael Jackson – Smooth Criminal
9.      Snow Patrol – Set the Fire to the Third Bar
10.    Madonna – This Used to Be My Playground
11.     Damien Rice – 9 Crimes
12.    Globus – Orchard of Mines
13.    Declan Flynn – Ease My Pain
14.    Evanescence – Before the Dawn
15.    Audiomachine – House of Cards (No Choir)
16.    Paramore – We Are Broken
17.    Red – Start Again
18.    Snow Patrol – Run
19.    Within Temptation – Angels
20.   Queen – Who Wants to Live Forever

On a further music note, I've just gotten obsessed with Simian Mobile Disco's 'Audacity of Huge'. Thanks for that, Steve. 

1 comment:


    this helps me write, as does:

    on a more serious note, is mint and energetic too!!