When I talk to people about being an indie author there’s a few typical questions that get asked. How do you come up with your ideas? How long does it take you to write a book? Which of your characters is your favorite? And, surprisingly, what music do you listen to when you write? I’m going to tackle the last question in today’s post.
For starters, I rarely listen to music with words when I write. When I was a journalism student in college one of my professors explained to me that if you listen to music with words while you write it will influence the article. It might make you subconsciously change your word choice, or it might be something as obvious as making your article vaguely rhyme with the song. I tried it out back in my apartment and found that he was right–I had written my homework assignment in a cadence that matched the song.
Since then I’ve switched to instrumental music whenever I write. Of course there are a few exceptions, but usually it’s one song in a play list of 25 or 50. So if mainstream music is out, WHAT do I listen to? A lot of movie and video game soundtracks.
For the King Arthur and her Knights books I listen to a playlist consisting of music from Zelda: the ocarina of time–a video game. For Red Rope of Fate I listened to music from the Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe movie. Lord of the Rings orchestral music was my go-to soundtrack for Princess Ahira, and as I write Beauty and the Beast my playlist consists of music from Final Fantasy XIII–another video game. (Click on the links to visit youtube videos that give you a taste of the soundtracks.) Typically I select a specific soundtrack for every book, but occasionally I’ll build a customized playlist to fit specific moods. In example, for one of my books (which has yet to be finished and released) I built a playlist for battle scenes, drawing songs from different soundtracks.
Choosing the right soundtrack for a book takes time, and it makes the writing process easier. I wrote Beauty and the Beast for roughly two weeks before I decided on the Final Fantasy soundtrack. I’ve been using the soundtrack as my background music for approximately the same amount of time, and my productivity has almost doubled.
Speaking of which, I need to hop off to write. Beauty and the Beast is currently clocking in at 29,000 words, and it’s coming along swimmingly. Thanks for stopping by, Champions, and I will see you on Friday.