1. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    What do you listen to when you write?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Lea`Brooks, Apr 16, 2014.

    Hello all!

    I know a lot of people are musical writers -- they just can't function without the noise! I read a lot of suggestions regarding music, everything from classical to rock to new age. But none of it worked for me. Anything with lyrics threw off my game and made it harder for me to concentrate. Even the new agey stuff distracted me!

    When I realized I always wrote better outside, I wondered if it was because of the noise. I recently found a website that has 14 random nature sounds -- from birds to wind and leaves to rain and thunder -- and it works so wonderfully for me!

    What do you listen to -- if anything -- when it's time for you to write?
     
  2. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    My brain whirring frantically?

    I hardly ever listen to something while writing, but if the need calls for it, I'll listen to classical music when I need to understand a certain scene e.g. listening to sad piano music when writing a sad and emotional scene. In the past, I have used websites which recreate coffee shop noise and storm noise. Just search on Google and you'll find them. Here's a good one for storms, because you can fiddle with the settings:

    http://naturesoundsfor.me/calm_thunder_storm
     
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  3. outsider
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    outsider Contributing Member Contributor

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    As much as I love music (and I do, I've been writing songs and playing in bands for years) I can't listen to it when I'm writing. Much too distracting, I'm afraid.
     
  4. sunsplash
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    sunsplash Bona fide beach bum

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    Never music. For me, it's a complete distraction so I use that for cleaning and such. I can deal with tv but prefer something crappy like reality tv...the noise of something going on but nothing that interests me or my mind will wander away from writing. Ideally I prefer just a quiet house and only get that at night!
     
  5. Madman
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    Madman Active Member

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    I don't listen to anything when I write. But I can put on a good melody before I'm about to write a certain scene, just to get me into the right mood. What I listen to depend on the scene, but it varies from classical music to modern interpretations of traditional Medieval/Roman/Eastern/Asian music.

    A good tune is a good tune, whether it's rap or a classical piece.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
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  6. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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  7. Glen Snow
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    Glen Snow Member

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    I'll sometimes listen to music when writing. Usually fast thumping songs, like Headstrong by Trapt or You're going down by Sick puppies, if I'm writing a fight scene. I find it helps me keep the pace right.
    I found Great Big World's Say Something to be the perfect song when writing a certain death scene. The song is so sad and emotional. The deeper you're feeling when you're writing the deeper the reader feels when reading.
     
  8. Aaron Smith
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    Aaron Smith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Tool, Pantera, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and sometimes I just prefer silence.
     
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  9. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    10 hours is infinite? Mind = blown.
     
  10. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    It depends what part I'm writing but I have a number of playlists on my Spotify programme, some just music, some songs that remind me of certain parts of my stories and some which are just the sounds of nature so if you're into the nature sounds thing, look on Spotify and search "sounds of nature" they have bucket loads!
     
  11. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    I like to listen to my Schoolhouse Rock CD
     
  12. Man in the Box
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    Man in the Box Active Member

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    I know I probably shouldn't because it's VERY distracting and tiresome but I like listening to metal when I'm writing villain scenes. :p
     
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  13. LeighAnn
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    LeighAnn Member

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    I listen to nothing. In fact, I put earplugs in so I really can't hear anything (including my sister knocking at the door). That way, the only thing going on in my head is my story.
     
  14. Jak of Hearts
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    Jak of Hearts Member

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    I only listen to music when I an having trouble getting into the emotion of a scene. I have a few favorites for each thing. For example when I'm writing a climactic fight/standoff I'll go to gotterdamerung (sp) or Duel of the Fates. 1000 words instrumental version for love scenes. I don't make it a habit to always listen to music though.
     
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  15. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I prefer silence, or better yet, nature sounds. I love the sound of rain - I wish I still lived in Victoria, where we got lots of it! Failing that, I like golf tournaments. They're so quiet and agreeable - the commentators speak softly, the crowds are respectful, very occasionally a cheer rises up, but only when something really interesting happens, which is rare in golf tournaments. ;)

    I can only listen to music if it's fairly ambient. Sometimes movie soundtracks are nice, if they're not too intrusive. Thomas Newman's work stays pretty much in the background. I cannot listen to rock or anything else with a serious beat. It throws off my sense of rhythm. I especially can't listen to songs with lyrics - my head becomes clouded with the singer's words and tone of voice, which is almost always what I don't want!

    Besides, if rock music is on, I find myself just grabbing my guitar and wailing out along with it. Improvisation is addictive - once my fingers start moving on the fretboard, I can't stop! So if I want to get some writing done, I have to leave the guitar alone, and that means no rock or blues or jazz or almost any kind of music at all. Grr.
     
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  16. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, I do this too. It really helps. It's always classical music for me, though. It's emotional without being intrusive. Kind of like a movie soundtrack!
     
  17. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    @KaTrian and I always listen to music while writing. Usually we choose the artist / band according to the scene we're writing, but more often than not, it's metal of some kind (most often death metal, but also some... whatever Meshuggah and their ilk are). Sometimes grindcore, sometimes (dark) ambient like Gnaw Their Tongues, Abruptum, some Tangerine Dream (e.g. Phaedra I & II) etc.

    Recently we've listened to a lot of semi-classic video game music, like the OSTs of Secret of Mana and Seiken Densetsu 3, FFV and VI, some NES music (from games like Mega Man, Blaster Master etc), but whenever there are darker or action scenes, we revert back to metal or grindcore.

    When we write medieval fantasy stuff, we also listen to a ton of folk metal bands. Arkona is a big favorite of ours (the Russian one, not the... Polish, was it?). Ensiferum too (the bassist is a good friend of mine, so we got a few of their albums for free. One's booklet even has my name in it :D), Satyricon, Dark Funeral, Mayhem, Alkonost, Midnattsol, 1349, Peste Noire etc. Cradle of Filth is a bit of a guilty pleasure of ours.

    Then we also listen to some lighter stuff that fits the mood like Medieval Baebes, older Blackmore's Night, Rasputina, Dead Can Dance etc. but we're always listening to music when we're writing. Hell, we listen to music all the time except when we're watching movies / TV shows or when we're sleeping /out and about.
     
  18. EllBeEss
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    EllBeEss Contributing Member

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    The main thing I listen to while writing is the sound of my own voice but I'll occasionally listen to music if the house is too quiet. I find both silence and irregular noises really distracting when I'm trying to concentrate (for example I can write if it's raining but not if there's a storm). I also talk to myself when I write so I prefer to have background noise in another room from people talking or watching TV or doing stuff and talk away but if no one else is home or they're all being quiet I'll turn some music that fits the scene I'm working on and listen to that.
     
  19. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ballads. Usually one song on repeat. I'm very rarely alone IRL and I find music necessary in blocking the world out.
     
  20. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've never tried listening to music to get emotionally ready for a scene.. I'll have to try that!! lol

    @minstrel lol.... Golf tournaments.. I never thought of that either! It's so good a lulling me to sleep, I can only imagine how calming it would be when it comes to writing.


    It's so interesting to me how different people are in their writing styles. :)
     
  21. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    Depends. Right now I'm listening to Finntroll Nattfödd. Before that it was Lamb Of God New American Gospel. After this I might pop in some Ensiferum or Moonsorrow.
     
  22. Ozzy
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    Ozzy Member

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    I listen to whatever is on my pandora or iheartradio. My writing is split between listening to music and listening to a tv show that I have practically memorized, so I just have some background noise. I have been known to listen to both tv and radio/music while writing.
     
  23. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yanno what's weird? It's the year anniversary of this thread!!!

    Happy Birthday, convo!! :cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader:
     
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  24. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    Funny enough I'm a big user of music in the creative process but I usually WRITE without background music so I can focus. But I BRAINSTORM with loud music.

    And it's all different stuff. I usually assign artists or genres to characters or locations or plotlines. Put it on blast, then it's almost like watching a music video for me (actually I see my characters singing quite often, which is weird). Then I have to decode it all later .

    In my case I gravitate toward country/rock/pop, usually with blues elements. But some of it involves expanding horizons on purpose - for instance some character s need electronic/dance type mood music because that's who they are, even if it's not really my thing.

    I did once write a big scene for one of my characters while looping a Taylor Swift song because I was trying to get into her head during an emotional moment (she's an alcoholic 37 year old, but it's 20 years in the future so I assigned her Taylor Swift as a nostalgic thing that reminded her of a more innocent time...fwiw Taylor sounds really deep when you're listening to it from the point of view of a world-weary ex-fan drinking herself to death)
     
  25. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    A continuous high pitched whine - I have tinnitus. If I did listen to music while writing I would probably loop Ravel's Bolero.
     

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