Monday, May 10, 2010

Musting Advice

My title sounds like this post is going to be about how to get yourself musty- what I attempted to do was a mash up of music and writing...bad idea- noted.

Anyway, the weekend drained me! I feel like a zombie robot- hey, has anyone written a book about zombie robots yet? Wouldn't that be badass???

Anyway, I always have energy for my aces, so I'm back on Music Monday to discuss the beautiful relationship of music and writing. I was doing some research on how many other blogs/sites out there discuss the use of music in writing and I stumbled upon this jewel of an article. Here, ginettewk12 (her username) discusses how you can best use music when working on fiction. She outlines steps in order to get the most out of music. I am going to do my own variation on her list! Feel free to check out hers to linked above by the word- jewel :)

Getting the most out of music when writing:
  1. Turn on your music, be it iTunes, Rhapsody, or an old fashioned stereo (cough- loser-cough).
  2. Whatever song is on, listen to the music/lyrics- what are they telling you? Is it a bad pop song that is begging to sound like Britney Spears about being "tamed?" OR is it is a rap song talking about picking up the entire earth and placing it on someone head? Whatever it is about- use it! Take those lyrics and think about writing your characters into those situations. What would your teenaged protagonist be like if they were locked in a cage and needed to get out, or if they were so frustrated that they wanted to attempt to cause bodily harm to someone?
  3. If you are using iTunes or something like it, create a playlist that fits the mood of your novel. Let the songs play as you type and allow the music and lyrics to determine what decision your character is going to make, or where the next scene will take place
  4. Create playlists for each of your characters- if they have key parts in the novel and you want to create a distinct voice for each of them- make a playlist that seems like would be on their iPod and play it whenever you are writing scenes or dialogue for that character
  5. FINALLY- Repeat all of the above. If you play this music over and over each time you write- yes, you will grow to hate the song, but it will get you used to writing on a regular basis.
Okay- that's it for my musting words of wisdom. What do you think about these 5 points of advice?

Also, go check out a contest from recently signed Frankie Diane Mallis- she just signed with Laura Rennert from Andrea Brown Literary Agency and she is giving away something uber cool if you're a fan of the Hunger Games trilogy. Why are you still here? Wait! Comment on my blog first and then go check out the contest- and make sure you tell her I referred you!!!!


  1. Nice ideas, but for me the music comes NOT when I'm writing. Usually I'm in my car when a song inspires me to think of a character and see him/her in a situation. I keep a dictaphone (yeah, I know it's old fashioned) in the car so I can take verbal notes when these moments hit me.

  2. I LOVE that idea about creating a playlist for your characters. I have 4 main characters in my current manuscript, and I think doing that will be very helpful during the revision process. I'm trying to give them their own unique voice and music could play a huge part of that. Thanks for letting me steal your idea! :)

  3. I think this s a great idea. There was a point in time when I had MAJOR writer's block and my writing buddy said "Hey, you should use music. Turn on your itunes on shuffle and let it inspire you." I have found this very helpful, and now whe I find that I am having trouble thinking of a story, I use music! I especially love the point about putting together a playlist for individual characters. Genius Idea!

  4. I listen to a lot of soundtracks. Like, a LOT. I really enjoy using that music to create playlists that fit the different moods I need to be in to write effectively - happy, triumphant, sad, suspenseful. I find that if I am really feeling the mood, I can write it much better. I have never made a playlist for my characters, though, and I really like that idea! I am going to give it a try right now! :)
    Great list!

  5. Wendy, it's cool to use music that way too- and that has happened to me before, whether it be a lyric that inspires me to make my character say something, or a melody that makes me envision a scene.
    Pam, I was thinking about you when I wrote the thing about creating character playlists--I knew you would like that!
    Racquel- I am a super genius- best that you find that out now :)
    Jess, thanks for the kind words- I hope the musting advice helps ;)

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