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January 23rd, 2004, 12:02 AM
I was just curious if I'm the only one, or if others do the same thing.

When you write, do you listen to Music?

When I'm writing a particular scene, I like a particular type of music. For example, if the scene is rather intense (battle scene or escape) I like fast, aggressive music (Metallica, Greenday, and the like). This quickens my own heartbeat and gets me excited as I write the characters into or out of a situation using words that speed the reading along (basically typing as fast as I can and correct mistakes later. When the mood is rather lackadaisical, I prefer to listen to softer, more soothing music that will calm me and allow my writing and wording to be more subtle and subdued. For this I may switch to classical or easy listening.

I'm curious if others have tried this. If so, what are your experiences in doing this? Do you find it helpful, or a distraction? Do you listen to music with lyrics or prefer instrumentals?


January 23rd, 2004, 01:12 AM
Lately I've been doing a lot of stuff that has an epic cinematic feel, and for most of it I find myself listening to Dmitri Shostakovich's 11th symphony, as I said elsewhere. But I also make use of a lot of anime and video game soundtracks, along with a small smattering of mainstream stuff (new Linkin Park, Audioslave, some of the newest Disturbed). Shosy's 11th is the One CD To Rule Them All, though.

January 23rd, 2004, 01:13 AM
i reckon if i did that my book would break some copright laws cos i would write down the song instead of the story

James Barclay
January 25th, 2004, 04:14 PM
I often listen to talk radio. It's because I have worked in an office for many years and that buzz of conversation is oddly comforting.

Right now, mind you, as I take a break from work to come here and post, I'm listening to Jethro Tull... all very rustic. It isn't because it necessarily helps me write, though the tunes and instruments are very evocative, it's because I love it.

January 25th, 2004, 05:23 PM
I also like to listen to a fast or heavy beat when I write something that needs a quick pace.

But I've noticed that I have to edit without the music. The music can provide a false sense of pace that isn't always there alone. Not only that, but you can't just shut off the music and expect to edit properly. You have to sort of cleanse the emotional palate before you'll be able to read what you've truly created.

Lyrics matter, at least for me. If the lyrics are bland, my writing tends to 'tell, not show' or be otherwise mediocre. If I listen to lyrics that are poetic, my writing tends to be a bit more flowery. If the lyrics offer angst or philosophical dilemma, my characters will be likewise affected.

I've tried to make use of this Lyric Effect, but it's problematic. Two characters in one scene need different viewpoints, and the lyric effect tends to make them too similar. Anyway, I haven't given up on it yet, but I have to choose instrumental music most of the time.

I imagine you must have experienced something similar, given the nature of this question. Yes?

February 1st, 2004, 11:20 AM
I listen to music before I write. It gets me in the mood. I don't listen to anything as I write, anymore. I found it too distracting. My mind goes in a thousand directions when I write, and music forces me into a kind of tunnel vision I don't need.

February 2nd, 2004, 12:03 AM
When I was a kid, I couldn't do homework/etc. listening to music. Now, I find it hard to do homework, study, or write without music going.

A specific flavor of music usually sets the mood for a larger work like a novel, while I'll just throw anything on for a short story.


Davis Ashura
February 4th, 2004, 10:32 AM
I listen to music, but it's almost always just background noise. If it's something I've never heard before, then it tends to interfere with my ability to concentrate.

February 4th, 2004, 12:32 PM
I find this idea interesting. I've never tried it but when I do listen to music I always get flashes of images and scenes that I often write down for use in my writing. Actually listening to music while writing I have never tried. I guess there's a first time for everything.

February 5th, 2004, 09:59 AM
I generally listen to my fav bands. Metallica, AFI (AFI especially for something artsy) and Nirvana. But I turn it down enough so that I can barely hear it. It's nice to have it but it can interfere with the process if it's too much.