Tuesday 21 January 2014

Music While You Write - The Creative Process

Music While You Write

Everyone has a different process when they're creating. Some prefer complete silence, others will like something as background noise, while others can work with music blaring, the TV on loud and six children all running around screaming. It's all about whatever works for you. I personally like to do a mixture of the first two. Some days I will only be able to concentrate when there is no one else in the house, or I have my office door shut with a sign threatening fictional death to anyone who disturbs me. At other times, I like to be able to hear things in the background.

Take today for example. I managed to get a chapter finished whilst I was home alone, but found that I needed something to listen to. So, I plugged in my new headphones and got my playlist up and listened to music while working. Right now, there is a DVD playing in the background as Miss D watches something and I'm still finding the inspiration to keep writing. However, there seems to be a trend of people talking about what music they listen to while they wrote a particular scene and/or book, so the piece for today is about the music I like to listen to as I write.

I am working on both a DYING THOUGHTS book as well as a standalone. I write two chapters of one, swap and then write two chapters of another. This system has worked well for me for the past six books I've written and like many people, when I find something that works, I stick with it. When I was writing a awkward love scene between Tara and another character, I plugged in my "long distance" playlist. I have a partner who lives in the USA and have made a playlist of songs I like to listen to when I'm missing him or when I feel like I'm in that mood. So, I started listening to those and found that I was able to get to the right feelings to properly write the scene.

It works for other scenes too. The standalone I am writing is about LGBTQ teens and there are a few that have partners, so again, my long distance play list will help me reach that part of myself that aids me in writing love scenes or romance or anything like that. However, as you are probably aware, I write mostly books for young adults in the crime and mystery genre. When I was working on my tenth book and had to write about the long distance past, I found that instrumental music was best for setting the mood. When I write about cases that Tara is working on, I'll listen to my "sad songs" play list which helps me find empathy and allows me to project that on to Tara as she deals with the grisly murders.

When I'm writing a happy scene, I'll listen to John Barrowman as he always brings a smile to my face and it allows me to tap into that emotion. When I want to feel nostalgic I'll listen to old Busted songs. I could go on, but I see little point, you get the idea I'm going for. There is not, at least for me, any one playlist that will help me write an entire book and as my tastes change, so do the songs I choose. The creative process is different for every writer and while I write these pieces to help inspire, I also do so to show people my own routines and quirks that influence my writing. I hope that I am at least successful in giving you, the reader, some input into what being a writer is like for me.

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