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Thanks to everyone for visiting Inspy during our Back to School giveaway. We have fun all year, of course, but those giveaways are amazing!
While we’re in the book world today for sure, we might cross over to movies a little. We’re talking about playlists. A lot of authors create playlists to help them write their novels. I have done this before, and I’ll elaborate further down.
Music can create such a mood for settings, characters, and even the plot. In films, music does everything from heightening your senses to making you cry. It’s very dramatic and savvy at the same time.
In books, you don’t have the audio, but you still need the reader to feels all the feels and we do this with words only. I find while writing, music helps me, especially with emotions.
At first, I could only listen to soundtracks with no words. And don’t laugh, but I listened to a lot of Twilight sound tracks. I love the beautiful piano music. It was very inspiring. Then, I found I could write through listening to lyrics. I wrote my whole book, Summer’s Song, while listening to Remedy by David Crowder Band. There’s a whole story behind that, but I won’t go into it here.
Then I came to a certain point where certain songs inspired me. So I started creating playlists of sort. They weren’t very long, but they did the trick. Now I love writing to music and I’m always in tune to when a song makes me feel a certain way. There’s a chance it will be added to the list. I’ve even found that lines from songs can inspire themes and scenes for my books. I won’t quote song lyrics here because of copyright laws, but I like how creativity inspires creativity.
There are some authors who post the playlists for their novels. The readers seem to resonate with this concept and even offer songs as suggestions at the author request.
Where are you on this playlist spectrum? Would it interest you to see a playlist for a novel you loved? As an author, do you use playlists? Also, what are some of your favorite movie soundtracks? And while we’re talking music I’d love to hear your favorite song.
Mary Preston says
One of my favorite movie soundtracks has to be for Disney’s animation TARZAN.
I don’t seek out and actively listen to music.
Mary—Thanks for sharing. I love a lot of Disney songs myself. :)
kim hansen says
Any of Garth Brooks older songs.
Love his slow songs, especially. Thanks for visiting Inspy!
Lelia (Lucy) Reynolds says
Playlists sounds like a nice concept but I like to choose my music so it is doubtful I would listen.
Hi Lucy! Thanks for sharing. It’s always nice seeing what readers resonate with.
Lila Diller says
It’s a very creative idea, but I don’t think I’ve ever listened to a whole playlist, especially since they usually have songs I would never listen to. I don’t like a lot of new. I’m already taking a chance on a new book. I personally can’t write to words with lyrics so have not tried to curate a playlist for my books yet.
Lila—You’ve got a point about new songs. Sometimes it takes a while to connect. I know what you mean about the lyrics while writing. It took me a while to be able to do it and I’m not sure what changed in my brain that I can do it now. :)
I like to see what’s on the playlists, but I don’t usually listen to them, unless I know the song or the artist, and then I will, or if it’s a Christian group that I want to check out, and some of the authors say that on the list! I like my classic country, bluegrass, classic rock, and some new stuff, but it has to have the old country feel to it! I can listen to gospel, Southern gospel, any time!
Trudy—What a great selection of music. I like different genres myself.
Valerie Comer says
For years, I couldn’t write with any noise at all, but that all changed about five years ago, and rather suddenly. Now having my favorite Christian artists on in the background helps set the stage for a great writing session. If a particular song catches my attention, I’ll often crank it up for a few minutes and maybe even dance to it as I sing along (no one wants to see/hear this, trust me…). When the song is over, I turn the volume back down and get back to work.
I have an extensive worship playlist on Spotify with dozens of Christian groups such as For King and Country, Cory Asbury, Aaron Shust, Jeremy Camp, Lincoln Brewster, Matt Redman, Zach Williams, Phil Wickham… the list really goes on and on. They are my playlist for everything I write, though sometimes certain songs jump out and get replayed.
Val–I love this glimpse/insight into your writing process–now if we read your characters break out into dance, we know it’s first hand experience~ Sounds like a fun way to write. You’ve listed some of my favs as well. If you haven’t listened to Sean Curran—tune him in. He’s awesome.
Valerie, it made me smile when I read that you called music ‘noise’. That is exactly how I feel if I am trying to read, write, type, work on accounts, etc.. I like music but only when I am able to truly listen to it. Music while driving is great if no one else in the car is trying to talk at the same time. Music while I am sitting, relaxing and not visiting is wonderful. I can’t stand have music playing while everyone else is trying to ‘talk over it’. Blessings and enjoy!
Valerie Comer says
Ha! All sound is noise, right? LOL Some is just more welcome than others! I can’t stand trying to listen to five conversations at once or people talking over the (loud) TV or anything like that. I like my noises one at a time and purposeful. ;)
Sandra–yes, certain music is for enjoying and singing out loud to. There’s great background music as well. There’s a balance for sure!
One soundtrack I really love is from The Greatest Showman. So many good songs.
I haven’t heard that one yet. I’ve heard its awesome, though!
Margaret Bunce says
I enjoy seeing what songs authors listen to while writing, or they simply enjoy. I’m a bit like Valerie in my tastes. Love Contemporary Christian music. Lyrics are very important to me. Worship songs are my delight. Movie soundtrack?? Probably all the songs on The Sound of Music!!
You can’t go wrong with the sound of music. :) And I love worship songs as well.
Natalya Lakhno says
I love playlists and it would be great to hear the playlists for for my favorite novels.
Movie soundtracks…I don’t know, we’ve been listening to Disney songs with kiddos :) Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, etc
One of my favorite songs – Turn Your Eyes
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
Turn your eyes to the hillside
Where justice and mercy embraced
There the Son of God gave His life for us
And our measureless debt was erased
Jesus, to You we lift our eyes
Jesus, our glory and our prize
We adore You, behold You, our Savior ever true
Oh Jesus, we turn our eyes to You
Natalya, What a beautiful song. Some of my favs have covered that song. Thank you for sharing.
I never thought about it but I never have music playing whilst I am reading. Have seen a few playlists that authors have put up for their books but prefer to read in silence. Music can be noise, but I find I don’t need that noise the way I did as a teenager studying anymore. My favourite is early lute music.
Dianne–Lute music! How delightful. And I’ve learned to read with music playing when I’m outside by our pool. My hubby always has the 60’s channel on and I just read over it, tuning it out.
I don’t have the music platforms many use for playlists, so I don’t usually listen.
Denise—Those platforms have taken over, haven’t they? It’s hard to find CDs sometimes anymore. I do download music through Amazon Prime. I like that one.
I do not usually listen to music when I read. I prefer it to be quite, unless I am sitting outdoors and I do enjoy the sounds of nature.
Judy–You can’t beat nature!!
Alicia Haney says
I think playlists are alot of fun, I myself have to have quiet while I am reading .I love the song Laura’s’ Theme, the song from Doctor Zhivago, and I also love the theme song for Love Story. If it is an audio book, yes, I love music in the background. I love, love music though. Have a Great week and stay safe.
Alicia—You’ve named some great songs and soundtracks. Brings back memories. :) Thank you!
I frequently play quiet music in the background when I’m at home, flying or driving/alone, and sometimes while reading. I’ve purchased tunes from the ITunes app of my favorite songs from movies, radio, and friends comments & have built an eclectic playlist over time. I enjoy contemporary country, some Celtic, Mexicana/Spanish guitar instrumental, certain pop/popular songs & Christian contemporary, some jazz/blues, & movie tunes, etc. I search the lyrics out before adding a song to my list because what it actually says is as important to me as the tune. Some songs have lovely melodies but the lyrics are actually quite depressing (which is a “no” for me). ;)
I always have my ears open for a new tune, so an author’s book playlist might interest me. One or 2 songs might connect.
Penelope—One thing I can’t do is listen to music while running or walking. It gives me vertigo! So weird. I can listen to podcasts though of people talking. I agree about the lyrics. And some of them today are quite surprising in a bad way!! I love your taste—I probably need to venture out more with those genres. I love music in general, so I probably would find a vast more tunes to listen to.
I’m very sensitive to music. For me, there is no such thing as background music. If I’m writing and need to isolate myself acoustically, I use a white noise app on my computer. I like to listen to waves crashing on the shore . :) My dad was a music teacher so I grew up with all kinds of encouragement to enjoy music. He was very much a classical fan. I tend more toward the sophisticated popular, myself. If you are looking for something without words but the music is beautiful, try Phil Keaggy’s Beyond Nature. I keep going back to that, time and again.
I don’t do playlists because I don’t use any of the on-line services. I still haven’t transferred much of my CD (and older) music to the computer, either. Yet another project for the future.
I am a big fan of several movie composers, though: John Williams (Star Wars and almost anything by Steven Spielberg), Howard Shore (The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit), Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner and Hans Zimmer to name a few.
Lincoln—What great soundtracks! They are amazing for sure and so many people love them. I personally don’t have the white noise app, but I do have a fan at night! I love that you grew up with a musical background. Music is a spirit lifter for sure!
I use to read a lot at the bookshop (volunteer between customers) and would have music on. I was reading a series which while Historical dealt with the early years of religion and how the main characters became members and you knew they would leave but it took 3 books (could have been done in one and a half) and how hard it was to leave. (It was like a cultish religion). But I use to listen to Randy Stonehill and a couple of the songs I cant listen to without being taken back to those books. The books while informative were very dark
I listen to other music when reading at times.
Jenny—How true that music triggers memories! I’m sorry those are dark ones, though.
Jessica B. says
Some of my favorite soundtracks are older musicals, National Treasure, and The Greatest Showman. One of my favorite songs is Wedding Day by Casting Crowns. I love the lyrics.
Jessica–I love Casting Crowns as well. I’ve probably heard that song, but don’t recognize it by the title. Thanks for sharing!