1. mraverageguy
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    mraverageguy Member

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    Does music pollute creative writing?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by mraverageguy, Feb 27, 2011.

    I have tried a couple of times to write while listening to music and I honestly find it taints any given scene I might be working on...

    I'll give you an example, I came across this piece of music:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25i56AWtFqk

    I happened to be attempting to write at the same time as listening to it, and the scene I came up with was awful, I won't give you any details on it. But let's just say it wasn't anything to be proud of.

    The emotion of a song seems to creep into the creative process for me and literally pollute my writing.

    What about you guys, do you find it helpful listening to music?

    If so what music?

    Do you listen to music to help inspire the emotion you are trying to convey in a scene?

    Or do you find silence preferable?
     
  2. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm pretty good at blanking out whatever I'm listening to - I tend to stick to songs I know backwards and can type fast to... if I'm listening to new stuff and try writing I'll blank it out too, but I will occasionally pause and listen to it. :p A good writing day is when I have my music on all day and I can't tell you a single song that played. I guess in background it might be "polluting" my writing, but I pay so little attention to it, it's mostly just an energy boost. It blocks out other noises that might actually be distracting (I've lived in some pretty noisy places), as once I have a playlist going, I expect to hear everything on it, rather than, you know, if I was writing in silence and there was a massive crash from downstairs, or the guy in the room across the hall had a massive break up with his girlfriend or whatever. :p
     
  3. mraverageguy
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    mraverageguy Member

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    I see, so do you find it easier to use music as background noise? I mean hypothetically say your in a building on your own there's no noise. Would you play music then just to sort of hum in the background?

    What genre of music by the way?
     
  4. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    I need to listen to music while I write.
    It inspires me. Mostly, it's soundtracks from my favourite games or movies. Usually instrumentals, but I can still write to music with lyrics too.
     
  5. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think a lot of people use music as background noise to not get distracted by other noises. But then if there happens to be silence, you're so used to having music on, you kind of need it. That's how it is for me and a few friends of mine anyway. Music without lyrics, like classical, are the best to work with imo (the song you linked to was beautiful, but perhaps not right for the scene you were writing?). Music sometimes need to fit the scene as well.
     
  6. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Nah, when I was a kid I rarely listened to music, but I wrote all the time - I'm used to sitting in silence - as long as I'm working I don't hear that either. Even now I'm conditioned to listening to loud rock music (ha! fitted it neatly into another answer :p) as I write, if you stick me on a train, bus, plane, car, classroom, shopping centre, park bench, etc etc I will be able to write just as well... At home in my room though, the music is a nice perk and gives me some extra motivation. I'm pretty easily distracted, but it's not like I get annoyed if I look up to people watch for a few minutes between chapters or something.
     
  7. Holden
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    Holden Senior Member

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    I've just discovered that listening to music really inspires me to write. Without it, I can't focus. It's good, for me, to have a beat I can write to and have something that is pulling a certain emotion out of me. Usually I listen to concert band music; it's deep, emotional, inspirational.

    The key is choosing a piece of music that has the same feeling as what you're writing. Don't listen to a slow, methodical piece if you're writing a fast paced action scene. Try and find something quick that will get your fingers moving.

    Whatever works for you is best. Try out a lot of different songs, genres, volumes, etc.
     
  8. Silver_Dragon
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    Silver_Dragon Senior Member

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    Some people find music helpful, while others don't. I listen to music while I am planning my stories but not while I'm doing the actual writing. As Holden said, it's helpful to find a piece of music that matches the mood of the scene you're writing.

    I find that music is usually too much of a distraction when I'm writing, as opposed to planning. Also, I'm inclined to browse through my music, which is another excuse for me to fritter away time when I don't feel like writing...as I've been doing for the last half hour. :p
     
  9. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you'd rather sift through your media library all afternoon, clearly you aren't very interested in your project. :p
     
  10. Silver_Dragon
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    Silver_Dragon Senior Member

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    Well...I love my project, but I have off days where I can be easily distracted. Particularly since I'm on the third draft and so many things still seem to be going wrong with it, but...that's a topic for another thread! :)
     
  11. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    I can't simultaneously listen to music and write. It's too distracting. So, while writing it I need silence.

    But good music does help me with creative ideas specially when I am writing something romantic. I don't mind emotions of the songs creeping in, my scenes are better because of it.
     
  12. mraverageguy
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    mraverageguy Member

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    Sounds like the majority of people like a bit of music as background noise.

    I guess it's the music I listen to, I mean I just find sad music makes me write sad things if you know what I mean.

    Can anyone link the music they listen to? as background noise?

    One of you guys said classical, can you refer me to any good pieces?
     
  13. Porcupine
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    Porcupine Contributing Member

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    Same thing goes for me. I particularly like Beethoven and Rachmaninov, though faster-paced music is better for action scenes.
     
  14. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I use songs to build characters, plots, the emotion I feel when listening I channel into the writing. I spend time finding just the right song - before beginning a new project I will listen and find music I may need, put together scrapbooks of images, find actors to represent the main characters etc. It's fun and gives my characters. locations and situations a 3D feeling helps a huge amount with what I write.

    I find songs a useful resource - story songs (Little Andy, Jessie. Angie Baby, Willow etc) - are all great examples of how to condense and concerntrate feeling and emotion. They also show how to characterise quickly. When writing my teen love scenes I listened to Tone Damli's Butterflies. I used Gethsemane from Jesus Christ Superstar to frame an 'atonement' type scene in one of my books, the inspiration gave me the idea of turning my needed soliloquy into a prayer. You're Nothing Without Me from City of Angels is a wonderful story of a writer talking to his character.

    Maybe its the songs and music I listen too I love a good story wherever it comes from.
     
  15. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Try listening to this and tell me it doesn't imspire you. :D

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5q6skxRLnsI

    I like listening to music while writing sometimes because the music helps to express thoughts and emotions. Of course, I also have times where I can't stand to listen to music because I can't find a song or instrumental to correctly convey what I want.

    Heck, even the sound of rain hitting the roof or windows can provide some inspiration or comfort. :)
     
  16. Dandroid
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    Dandroid Senior Member

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    A fairly successful author who ran a workshop i had attended said that it can introduce rhythms that wouldn't otherwise be intended...
     
  17. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    I don't like music when I write. Call me a grinch if you have to.
     
  18. Dandroid
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    Dandroid Senior Member

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    i need the music to drown out the noises that become creepy sounding due to the heightened anxiety i experience because my subject matter spooks me....
     
  19. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Music is my life, but I prefer to keep things separate.

    I think music distracts me from writing. I'd keep thinking 'nice bass line, I wanna experiment with that...'
     
  20. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes I agree with this - I have certain songs that I have to use with certain stories, or the flow goes off. Can be annoying to have John Barrowman singing What About Us on a loop, I find if I want to churn out 800 words in 20 minutes I need certain songs for each projects or it is slow going.

    Did the author think it was a good or bad thing ?? I find it an exceptionally good thing and love the rhyhm and flow it gives my work.
     
  21. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    I have never tried writing a story listening to music with it before, and never took the time of doing so. I didn't think it really worked. Maybe if I give it a try, it might. Does anyone sometimes stick with the same kind of song, since it is the "ultimate" song that rythms with your book? I alos think that it makes your rythem seem more real if the songs were instremental instead of having lyrics in them.
     
  22. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    For my first book it is Someone Else's Dream by Michael Ball - Theme tune from Kiki's Delivery Service (think its called Soaring) - Butterflies Tone Damli - Satelite by Lena Meyer Landrut - Level 42 Running in the Family. I play them on a loop when writing it.

    My second book is What About Us and All Outta Love, by John Barrowman (yeah was glad to finish that book lol) Final scene We Are Golden by Mika

    My third book - What About Us, Fireflies, Arms of an Angel by John Barrowman, Your Raise me Up Lee Mead and Josh Groban. For the last scene Gethsemane the Michael Ball version.

    My current one I seem to have so far - You Can't Stop the Beat (London West End Cast), Land of Hope and Glory by Michael Ball, Man I feel Like a Woman John Barrowman, Katharine Jenkins Kiss To A Rose (or is it from a rose lol), Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers Islands in the Stream, Mika Grace Kelly. - This one is being treaked and changed.
     
  23. Dandroid
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    Dandroid Senior Member

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    it seemed that he was pretty critical of the idea...or at the very least...cautionary
     
  24. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I guess the key would be unintended - intially it was in my case. I couldn't work out why I had to listen to the same four songs on a loop in order to write it took the first draft for penny to drop. Once you know its happening then i guess you can assess it.

    For me now it is entirely intended - I go with the rhythm I intend and will tweak the songs until I get the one I like.
     
  25. Dandroid
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    Dandroid Senior Member

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    way back when i was a senior....i wrote every essay to the bass line of wonderwall by Oasis..the shame...i still write with music...but mostly to keep me in an elevated state of inspiration...
     

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