I rarely listen to the radio. My house is surrounded by too many trees to allow good reception. My car is eleven years old and the radio is… well it’s no Bose stereo sound system, and since I have such a short drive to work, I usually don’t even bother turning the radio on.
So how do I listen to the hottest tunes? Like many, I utilize the latest apps which allow me to have awesome music right at my fingertips. With Pandora, Google Play Music and Shazam I search for anything I want to hear and create playlists on my phone.
Usually the music I listen to has a direct connection to what I’m writing. The playlist for my current story features songs I added because they remind me of my characters, or jams I can see my characters dancing to at a club. On several occasions I’ve come across a song that just feels like it goes with my story, many of which contain lyrics appropriate for my characters’ relationship.
Many times I’ll do a search for something specific. For instance my MMC created a playlist for the first time he and FMC spent the night together. If any of you are familiar with my current WIP you know Jesse is very um… self-assured. He created his playlist in anticipation of their special night, not hoping he and Eliana would get together, but knowing. It was just a matter of time. So what songs would Jesse include on this playlist? Marvin Gaye obviously. The list featured Sexual Healing and Let’s Get It On. Very Jesse. Also on this special list is was Making Love by Usher, the raunchy but intriguing Closer by Nine Inch Nails and We Can Make Love by SoMo.
So what do I do with this playlist once I have it? I listen to it not just while I’m working on the story, but also while I’m working at my other job. I listen while doing laundry or just relaxing and sometimes I get ideas. I even listen at night in bed. I let the music play to my subconscious while I sleep in the hopes that I’ll wake up with some brilliant scene.
Some writers feel that listening to music while they work helps them focus. Some, like myself use music to help set a mood.
So what about you? Does listening to music help you create your story? Do you have a specific playlist for your current characters?