Background music for writers

Some of my writing friends listen to music for inspiration, mostly notably Lia Keyes who is working on her steampunk novel and listens to Phantom of the Opera. Seems like the perfect choice for what promises to be a deliciously, dark mystery.

Normally I don’t listen to music while I write, but I’m intrigued by the idea of using my auditory senses to help ‘set the mood’. 

Here’s my dilemma though. What in the world would make good background music for a book with cats as the main characters, an evil professor and his Whisperer, a magical book of power and a host of mythological characters ranging from the dark to the light side, and settings that range from the ancient Library of Iskandriyah to a small public library in the foothills of California.

See what I mean? Suggestions welcome.

In the meantime, I’m going to check out Five great ways to find music that suits your mood,  a Mashable article that reviews several websites that let you pick out music according to your moods and emotions, rather than artist, genre or title.

What do you listen to, if anything, while writing?

12 thoughts on “Background music for writers

  1. Hmmm, that’s a hard one. Sounds like you’d have to put together a special play list to go with each scene.

    I haven’t listened to a lot of music while writing. I get so caught up in my story it doesn’t really register, at least not on the conscious leve.

    I do put on Steven Halpern’s SPECTRUM SUITE. It’s soothing, lasts almost an hour, and when it’s over–if I realize it’s over, that is–it’s a sign for me to get up, stretch, and have some water.


    1. Looking at my story from this new angle makes me realize how many different moods there are. However, I only need musical assistance with the scene I’m grappling with at the moment, which is in the POV of the evil Professor. It’s a scene that’s dark and creepy; something I have to really prepare myself for.

      I actually did find some great movie theme music by searching Musicovery, one of the sites in the article mentioned in my post. Pieces from the DaVinci Code and The Fifth Element I think will go a long to helping with the ambience I needed….if I don’t scare myself to death first!

    1. Yeah, me too, except for this particular scene which is from inside the mind of my evil antagonist. I’m just not quite evil enough by myself.

  2. I think Disney might have this one in the bag. What about a little Aristocats for the fun, feline factor with a shot of Fantasia for the darker, magical parts?

    A little Harry Potter music might be inspiriing as well for those flights of fancy.

    Hope these might jumpstart some ideas!

    1. Great ideas Cat! I hadn’t thought of Disney. Fantasia might just be perfect, although I might need something a little darker even. I’ll go find it and listen. Thanks for the creative suggestions.

    1. Hi Rachna! I’m glad I finally found your post.
      Yeah, most music is distracting for writing purposes. This was just an experiment in setting the mood for a particular scene.

    1. Boy, it’s been a long time since I’ve listened to that, but it seems like there are some creepy parts in Peter. I’m struggling with just how creepy I should make this scene. Maybe I’ll write another post about that, like how much do 9-12 years want to be scared?

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