Music and Lyrics

Everyone needs their own setting for when they write. I have a friend, who puts on her headphones and writes, anywhere. She says that the music doesn't bother her, in fact it drowns out the rest of the world so she can concentrate. She calls it "white noise". I have heard that other people write in coffee shops, book stores, with music on in the background, with scented candles to help them visualize, you get the idea. Many writers have many different ways of setting "the mood" for writing.

I am one of those writers who needs absolute silence. If I am disturbed by music, noise aka my kids, television, whatever, it completely pulls me out of my head. When I read I can be in the middle of a mosh pit, but when I write I need QUIET.

Having said that, I was in my car the other day and I was listening to 'Against All Odds' by Phil Collins. I LOVE this song. The emotion that this song pulls out of me is intense and amazing. I don't associate this song with any person, place or thing, it's just the music and lyrics. This song makes me think of the terrible heartache that a person could, would feel if the person that they loved more than life itself wasn't available to them. Be it death, divorce or irreconcilable differences for one reason or another you can't be with the person that you love.
...and you coming back to me is against the odds, but that's what I've got to face.
I wish I could just make you turn around, turn around and see me cry
There's so much I need to say to you, so many reasons why, you're the only one who really knew me at all....

And it goes on and on *sniff* gets me every time. I can see the end of Megan's story in this song. Megan and Cole standing at the school where they find her son safe and she's hugging him to her and crying. Cole is standing a distance away from her, watching the scene between mother and son unfold. She stands up holding her son's hand and they walk away with another officer. Back to their lives. And he knows he has to let her go, let her return to the life that she's built with her son.

I get it now. I can see why some writers would use music to help them in their writing. I still couldn't do any actual writing with it playing, but I can see how it helps "set the mood".

Do you have a song that has helped you with a book or a scene?


  1. OMG, that used to be my all-time favourite song in all of the world. Its reign lasted for about 5 years. They were teenage years, so the more angst-ridden the better. Serious tear-jerker.

    Have you ever given a good listen to the original Bluer Than Blue by Michael Johnson? Or A House Is Not a Home? They'll yank the heart right outta you.

  2. I don't know who Michael Johnson is, but thanks to Rhapsody I can check it out. Thanks for the recommendation.

  3. I LOVE Phil Collins! Just sayin'....

    As to your question, I wrote FAERIE FIRE to the soundtrack from LAST OF THE MOHICANS on continuous loop. Yes, really. I wore out the cassette tape, finally got it on CD. Now I have it in iTunes. LOVE that soundtrack.

    I also have playlists for the Penumbra Paper books--a mix of all sorts of things from Nine Inch Nails to Enya. Don't ask. Iffy programmed the iPod. LOLOL!

  4. Last of the Mohicans and Beyond Rangoon are my two most favorite soundtracks OF ALL TIME !!! (personally I like the Trevor Jones half better and named a character after him ;)
    Yeah, I'm one of those people who write better with distractions going on around me - utter silence pulls me out and makes me VERY uncomfortable. I've always been that way, in fact, the semester I pledged in college my grades went down ... not for the reason you think - it's because they REQUIRED you study in the library so your grades wouldn't suffer OH THE IRONY !!!