22 October, 2015

A Writer's Soundtrack

There are a lot of neat, new ways to get your message across today, but I'm not talking social media.

When I was younger, one dream job was to read/record novels (which would have been exclusively for the blind at that time).

Today, anyone can listen to their favorite stories via LibriVox or some other website, but there are other places where you can read your own work or have someone else do it and offer it alongside your print version.

This is too cool and something I'm seriously considering with my two novels.

There are also a few websites that let you insert music in your eBook - but, they are domain sounds and not likely to be anything you really want added to help convey a mood or enhance a crucial scene.

Most of us just create play lists and listen to them while we're writing.

I have four media players on my laptop, but the one that is easiest -- Windows Media Player -- is also the one that is loaded with the most play lists. Some of the play lists have duplicate mp3 files in them because there's just no way I can NOT listen to that particular tune regardless of my mood or the story line.

I also listen to SomaFM's Groove Salad, Pandora (more play lists), and Classic FM 100.9 from London.

Now, some writers insist that they cannot write while listening to anything, with the guarded exception of white noise, like a fan or the hum of their furnace or refrigerator.

I can't write (or sleep or concentrate) with dead air OR white noise.

Music also helps to drown out unwanted noises like screaming kids, barking, traffic, sirens, and the neighbors rattling, grinding air conditioner (they FINALLY shut it off).

There are limitations, though.

Music with lyrics is out of the question when I'm writing because it is impossible to concentrate on two things at the same time -- never could multi-task and ain't ashamed to admit it.

Lyrics, though, are great for inspiration, so when I have a long drive on the agenda, the radio sometimes helps (country music), but most often I'll plug in my mp3 player or get the CDs and cassettes out and play those.

Yep, I still have both along with the machines that take them. My next step is to buy speakers for my still-working turntable.

What is difficult, I think, is coming up with specific tunes that are in direct relation to the story.

That probably sounds weird since I just got through saying I can't write without music, but picking out specific tunes to meet specific occasions in a scene in one of my novels seems daunting, if not impossible to contrive.

Lastly, there are the YouTube videos that folks are making to help sell their novels.

Kick ass concept!

Definitely going to give that one a shot as I used to spend a lot of time creating videos of the music I like but couldn't find on YouTube.

It's another tricky bit of business, though, wanting to add your music but likely being stopped at the gate for Copyright reasons.

Personally, I never understood the big deal since it was (and still is, maybe) a terrific way for these musicians to get their work out there. I always added buy links to my videos, and I probably helped to generate sales for them, but . . . whatever.

If you breeze through their legal stock of background music, you're likely to come up with something pretty darn close to what it is you actually had in mind.

So, below are ten of the songs I have on my Writing Music play list, which actually consists of close to 175 songs in all, but these will give you an idea of my taste, my preferences, and my mood when I'm working on a novel.

There is a Writing Music tab above that will include just about every song on the play list, and you're welcome to browse around and give them a listen at your leisure.


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