Music to Write To

6 years ago | Amy Kim Kibuishi (Member)

Not sure if this is the right place to post this, but anyone listen to music while they write? And if you do, do you have any recommendations on good soundtracks/albums?

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Page: 12


  1. SgL (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    I think I've eaten through twelve-twenty different soundtracks for this one serial so far. I grew up playing musical instruments solo and in an orchestra and band, so music is an integral part of my artistic life.

    Usually I write to classical or movie soundtracks. My favorite composers to write to are Alexander Desplat, Sawano Hiroyuki, sometimes Dario Marinelli, among others.

    I usually avoid songs with lyrics as those usually are distracting...

  2. Wildbow (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    For regular listening/scenes, this playlist:
    Or this:

    For fight scenes, something like this:
    Not necessarily that playlist, but usually a playlist of 'best battle music'.

    I rather like Yuki Kajiura, as well:

    I also find lyrics distracting, but only if they're English and I can make them out. 90% of Yuki Kajiura's music is either lyric-free or a blending of latin/japanese/english into what fans call 'Kajiuran'.

  3. DaringNovelist (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    Well, I use music three different ways:

    1.) I put either "The Third Man Theme" or "Take Five" on a continuous loop and let it play endlessly. This can lead to madness, so do it at your own risk. (YouTube of each of these: Third Man: and Take Five: ).

    2.) Sometimes I'll put on a long playlist of instrumental music, like Benny Goodman, or classical. Music with words engages my verbal brain and distracts me.

    3.) BEFORE writing I'll listen to any and every kind of music and exercise to it. I'll pick the play list based on mood or how it evokes the character voice. Very often this will get my creative brain going so well that I zone out on the exercise and the music and start writing.


  4. Amy Kim Kibuishi (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    What the heck, Wildbow? Why you gotta be so awesome? Whoever MrSuicideSheep is, he's like my musical muse. That playlist is fantastic and right up my alley! *so grateful*

    SgL I thought I was the only person in the world that listened to Dario Marinelli! Lovely, emotive stuff.

    I listen to a lot of soundtracks too, mostly from films and video games, but I also listen to slowed down versions of trance. (Don't laugh!) This is the theme song to Rema and has been for more than 7 years. I must've listened to it over a hundred thousand times....

    But you all seem to understand the habit to loop things. :)

  5. Jim Zoetewey (Moderator)

    Posted 6 years ago

    If you feel a deep urge to find out what I listen to while writing, you can check out the Pandora channel that I've put pretty much anything I like into. You can also check out my account.

    I really don't put much thought into it. I either listen to Pandora or put my music library on random play. Thus I listen what I always listen to--jazz (especially bebop, fusion, and early jazz), indie rock, 80's-90's alternative rock, 70's progressive rock, and other (somewhat randomly chosen) stuff.

    There are some times when I get too distracted by the music as it's an interest (I play bass guitar semi-regularly, and have taken voice, piano, and trumpet lessons), but then I turn it off.

  6. Alexander.Hollins (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    I find I have to avoid anything with lyrics because it can cause new story ideas to blossom (unless the song is what caused the story I'm working on)

    I tend to go for instrumentals, classical, and old school techno. If i were to ever make a playlist for writing, La Villa Strangiata would be in there twice. at least.

  7. Wildbow (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    What's wrong with coming up with new story ideas?

    I love those moments when I'm halfway through a chapter and come up with something that totally derails what I had in mind. If it makes sense & is interesting enough, and it catches me by surprise, then I see that as a good thing.

  8. Alexander.Hollins (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    wildbow, at this point i have (checks list on notebook) 12 stand alone novels, two trilogys, one 5 book series, 27 short stories, 2 series of connected short stories with at least 5 stories each partially plotted, 3 webcomics (strip format) 2 comics (full page format) and 7 poems or songs that need working on.

    Not counting the two novels I AM already slowly serializing and two webcomics i'm actually writing regularly for that are going out.


  9. Amy Kim Kibuishi (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    I'm with Wildbow. I LOVE surprising myself! At the same time, Alexander, there's a thing to be said for focus. When I really need to focus, I have a playlist that consists of one file that plays on repeat: wind blowing through a cave! lol

  10. Alexander.Hollins (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    amy.... can you send me that file pretty please? I would love that. Hell, i want that for sleeping too! itsatrap at gmail dot com , if you are able to. Thank you in advance! (I would totally call the file name sessery too! heh)

  11. SgL (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    Amy - Like you I repeat one song ad nauseum when I want to tackle something . The repetition actually does something different for me than listening to new songs in the background. (Music for me is rarely a background element for me because I was a very active musician through college. My brain wants to analyze new music so it's better to not tempt it and so I put something that I enjoy mood-wise on a loop.)

    Right now I'm eating up "Two Steps From HEll" and their new release Skyworld. Their music is always trailer fodder -- designed to strongly appeal to the taste of movie goers. "All is Hell That End's Well" is really cool to listen to. It has a lot of things going on in there that seem to scream "epic fantasy" to me.

  12. Palladian (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    I hear those of you talking about putting one song on repeat...I find I do that more at work than I do when I'm writing, though. If I have one of those times when I'm in the zone, I find that listening to all or mostly instrumental music can help me get there, and once I am, it becomes really like the soundtrack to whatever I'm writing.

    My favorites for this type of exercise are Boards of Canada, Harold Budd, and Bonobo. Sometimes I lean towards something with more beat, like Aphex Twin, but I usually like to keep it more on the ambient side because it helps me focus.
    Super: Sci-fi/suspense/superheroes

  13. Amy Kim Kibuishi (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    SgL -- Oooh Two Steps From Hell! That's my husband's favorite haha~ I'm also a big fan of E.S. Posthumus. :)

  14. Amy Kim Kibuishi (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    P.S. y'all. Tonight's revisions were brought to me by the totally inspiring White's Dream:

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