1. Douglas Rumbaugh
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    Douglas Rumbaugh Member

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    Do You Prefer Writing in Silence?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Douglas Rumbaugh, Feb 8, 2011.

    This is just a fairly brief question on my part, mostly because I am curious.

    When you are writing, do you write in silence or listen to music? Personally I play one of my Pandora radio channels while I write, which has some interesting effects on my writing as I am beginning to see.

    Since I write in a fairly non-structured manner, I just sit down with an idea and almost zero prewriting, reading over a day's work I often notice that the oscillations in action or drama in what I've written follows the music. For example when some arrangement of Braveheart starts playing I tend to write a slightly more dramatic scene or when a more action oriented E.S. Posthumus song runs I write a high action scene. It normally isn't anywhere near that obvious, but it makes for some interesting thoughts going back over what I've written.

    Anyway I digress, silence or music and why.

    Thank you for reading, and until next time I bid you vale,

    Douglas Rumbaugh
     
  2. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    For me silence or music or even having some tv series running while i writing is matter of how tired I am, and what sort of flow I'm in. At time I need silence to focus, and at times I need music to not get to bored. It I am handling a passage thats a bit tricky, and not sure where it going, for me it can be help to slip in and out of focus when writing and then I let some movie or tv show I'm already seen at some point run on part of the screen.
     
  3. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have three children under eight, what is silence ?

    I usually have my music on in the background, my kids have the TV on or are running round shouting lol Maybe in about ten years I will be able to tell you if I can write in silence :) Right now I am listening to You're Nothing At All from City of Angels, my daughter has Thundercats on the TV and my son is playing with My Little Ponies are they are having an arguement.
     
  4. junior
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    To me, when I'm writing something, I'll listen to my favourite music. Music make my mind has many idea to keep going and give me more emotion to think about words. :)

    P.s: My English is not good, forgive me about my grammar :p
     
  5. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    Nah, I can't write in silence. I need musiccc~
    Usually it's wordless music, like soundtracks from my favourite games/movies. If i'm in the mood, it can be lyrical music too xD
    It inspires me and sets the mood ^^
     
  6. Douglas Rumbaugh
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    Douglas Rumbaugh Member

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    Same deal Youniquee, same deal. I tend to listen to either serene piano music or film scores like, as I mentioned in the opening post, Braveheart or anything by Michael Giacchino.

    I do work well in silence too, and sometimes I need it, but I feel like I function better with non-lyrical music in the background. Lyrical music on the other hand... that tends to just distract me.
     
  7. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like to write while listening to music with my headphones on. I will switch the music depending on what type of scene I'm writing at the moment. If it's a big battle/action scene, then I need epic music. :) If it's a nice cozy scene, then I need nice soothing music.

    So I will end up listening to anything from Rob Zombie to Loreena McKennitt to Ayumi Hamasaki. :D
     
  8. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sometimes I write in silence, usually if I'm editing so I don't get distracted with song lyrics. But most of the time I do listen to music because it gets me in the mood to write, like motivated in a way, and sometimes I just completely zone out and am totally absorbed in my writing so it doesn't really matter if I'm in silence or have music on.
     
  9. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    I have to write in silence. Even the sound of the keys being pressed is too much noise.
     
  10. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I need peace and serenity to write.

    I used to write a lot in my parents' conservatory which was lovely. Nice view onto the garden, sounds of nature...
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    silence works best for me... the only exception would be if i'm setting a story in a certain part of the world where listening to the local music will put/keep me in the mood and bring me back to places i've been... in that case, it has to be instrumental only, so the words of a song won't interfere with the ones coming out of my head...
     
  12. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can take just about any sound but people around me talking. If I'm in the same room as my parents, I need to put on my headphones and tune out. What type of music I listen to doesn't really matter. I don't tend to notice too much.
     
  13. impure
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    As long as no one is talking I'm good.
     
  14. Douglas Rumbaugh
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    Because I tend to write Science Fiction, this is one of my favorite songs to listen to as I am writing. It is very atmospheric and certainly helps me get into the proper mood.
     
  15. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I love You're Nothing Without Me from City of Angels its about a writer talking to his characters.

    I have the added fun dimension that a different John Barrowman music video inspired one of my characters (Socrates) and there is a version with him singing the part of writer.

    I find musical based songs song by the likes of Michael Ball, John Barrowman, Daniel Boys, Lee Mead, Josh Groban etc help they have a huge depth of feeling that gives me ideas about how to take my story. Tone Damli Butterflies helps with romantic scenes etc
     
  16. JeffS65
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    Both but most often music.

    I usually pick out some chilled classic rock (cuz I'm old like that...) like Steely Dan, Boz Skaggs or Fleetwood Mac.

    Something that floats quietly in the background.

    If it rocks too much, I become Neil Peart (Rush)....Funny, I'm a guitar player....
     
  17. -oz
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    -oz Active Member

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    I love listening to music when I write, except that I don't do well with lyrics. I have thus developed an instrumental repertoire. Music in other languages (that I don't understand) work just as well for this purpose.
     
  18. FictionAddict
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    FictionAddict Senior Member

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    Music always. It helps me focus, even though I start singing along now and then. LOL :D
     
  19. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I prefer silence. I am very attuned to the rhythms of my prose, and music playing around me totally screws that up. I like to read my work aloud while I'm editing, trying different words and different sentence structures to hear how they sound, and if there's music in the background I can't do that.

    Sometimes, when I'm doing a first draft and it doesn't really matter, I can stand relatively ambient instrumental music. Other than that, I want silence.

    There are some writers who have developed the ability to write wonderful prose in the middle of twelve radios each playing a different station, and I really envy them. I'd love to be able to write well when crowded by too much sound. But I'm not there yet.
     
  20. Forkfoot
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    Forkfoot Contributing Member Contributor

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    Has to be silent. Noise causes mundane thoughts, which keep the really deep stuff from bubbling up. I have a pair of earplugs for when the wife is watching television or attempting to communicate with me or whatever.
     
  21. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    I need silence, so I usually write late at night when everybody is asleep.
     
  22. jigsawkid7
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    jigsawkid7 New Member

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    quiet is nice but the majority of time I write I usually have music playing.
     
  23. amateurvoice
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    amateurvoice Senior Member

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    I have a four year old brother who demands my every attention after I've been at school all day, so silence for me is a precious commodity when I find it.

    I actually like some noise in the foreground, but not necessarily music. I prefer being in my library on campus where I find the right amount of noise from both people and music. It really gets my brain spinning ideas around and puts me in a great writing mood.
     
  24. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    I need silence or white noise. A coffee shop tends to be a good place to write, often times more than a library. I find that libraries have people who like to make other people listen to them.
     
  25. FantasyorDeath
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    FantasyorDeath New Member

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    I like writing in complete silence. Otherwise I just get really distracted, like if there's a movie playing or someone listening to music. Also, I like to write solitary - or at least somewhere where I won't disturb people - because I have this habit of talking to myself when I write. Ehe. (^v^) Kinda embarrassing, but sometimes I just exclaim, 'No way! She totally did not!' or 'Oh, come ooooon!' or something along those lines. You get the picture. :D
     

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