Monday, September 17, 2012

音楽を聞きながら書く - Listening to Music While Writing

Music plays a fairly big role in my life. Whether I'm driving, walking around campus, doing homework, cooking or cleaning (which is almost never) or just sitting around, I like to have music playing. And listening to music while I write calms me, gets my creative, uh, juices flowing, and gets me motivated to put words to paper.

For the most part, I like all kinds of music. Except country. And I loathe slow songs. Other than that, rock and classical are tied for first place as my favorite music genre. Lately, I've been branching out and listening to a lot of K-Pop and J-Rock. Mostly, I listen to my iPod, but I'll also tune into Pandora (which I usually have set to Two Steps from Hell radio) or

A few favorites from my writing playlist: 

What I listen to usually depends on the tone I'm going for in the book. For certain types of scenes, I listen to different types of music. For example, if I'm writing an epic battle scene or a car chase, I'd listen to rock or something from the 300 soundtrack. For lovey-dovey or humorous scenes, I would obviously listen to something more upbeat. My writing playlist is mostly comprised of movie soundtracks:

Harry Potter - John Williams/Patrick Doyle/Nicholas Hooper
Lord of the Rings - Howard Shore (I find myself listening to this the most. It matches my work-in-progress the best)
King Arthur - Hans Zimmer (I looove Hans Zimmer)
300 - Tyler Bates
Narnia - Harry Gregson-Williams
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children - Nobuo Uematsu
And one game soundtrack: Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core - Takeharu Ishimoto (though I haven't played the game).

I do a lot of dorky things, like compile playlists for each of my main characters (Kevin, Jordan, Mark) to help me get to know them better and to better establish their voice. I also like to make playlists of what, if my novel is ever adapted into a movie, the soundtrack would be. Also, if you haven't yet noticed, I like to post on my blog (right sidebar) what music I'm currently addicted to.

Do you listen to music while you read/write? If so, what's on your playlist?


  1. OMG- I cant believe I found someone else who has a Two steps from Hell Pandora station. I love listening to that music while I go out on my jogs. That kind of epic, grand music gets me thinking a lot of plot and where I could go next with it. I can almost "see" my characters with this sorta music.

    Also- Final Fantasy 7 rules!! Its my favorite game of all time. 2 of my characters are actually partially inspired by Tifa and Aerith (Aya and Faith). I have both "Tifas Theme" and "Aerith theme" on my ipod, both written by Nobou Uematsu. They are a slower than most music in TSFH, but it's awesome none the less.

    K-Pop, there's only one thing I can say to that - GANGAM STYLE!!!!!!!!!

  2. Two Steps From Hell radio has the most epic music. I agree that it definitely gets me thinking about my story. Kind of makes me think of it as a movie.

    "For the Reunion" is my favorite song from Final Fantasy VII. I have yet to play the game though. Maybe when I find the time, I will. And that's cool how your characters are like them. Makes me even more excited to read your work.

    Gangnam Style! Yessss! I don't know what he's saying, but the video is hilarious.