30 Days of Writing #7: Music While You Write?

7) Do you listen to music while you write? What kind? Are there any songs you like to relate/apply to your characters?

I used to listen to music while writing. In the days when I lived alone, it was common for me to write while a lineup of CDs played in the background. Generally, it would have to be music that related to what I was writing, in tone if not in lyric–in fact, the less distracting the lyrics, the better. It was rare that I would write in silence.

After marrying, I started writing more in the mornings and on weekends, usually without music or any other noise-maker in the background. True, I could have listen to CDs (and now, MP3s) with headphones (or ear buds, now, which I loathe to use), but that, too, is a distraction. Sometimes what I’m writing gets me so wound up I have to get up and move around. And silence, as it turns out, works pretty well for me. Better, I think, than filling the world with noise ever did.

Songs that would usually make it into the background, when I wrote with music, were freuqently ones that applied to characters, or at least what they were faced with. During the time when I was writing a lot of Superguy material, this tended toward the bombastic and over-the-top, which suited the plots I was coming up with just fine. During the writing of some parts of Brutal Light, I favored music that was on the darker edges of elecronica/trance, including discs by Philosophy Major, Massive Attack, and Thievery Corporation. Which is not to say I don’t like a variety of music–it’s just that it’s harder to write some things while jazz music is playing, and harder to write others while bands are rocking out in the background.

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