Music and writing

I asked this question on the Lallywriters group recently. Did music inspire or influence writing for people and in what way? Well, that’s sort of what I asked, I don’t remember the exact wording. Some people have to listen to something while writing, for some, entire works are inspired by music. It’s fascinating how music affects and influences what we write.

For me, I need silence in order to write. Not absolute silence, but quiet, so that I can think and get into what I’m writing. Maybe just a touch of ADD in that requirement. If I listen to music, I have to be doing somthing that doesn’t require my full attetion, like cooking or sewing. Otherwise, I start listening to the music and singing along, rather than writing like I should be. Even on my commute from work and home if I’m trying to work through dialogue, I have to turn the radio off.

However, music inspires my writing. A certain turn of phrase, a style of music can evoke a mood that sends my thoughts down a path where my characters wait, eager to tell me their thoughts and adventures. Rayne’s soundtrack is heavy on Celtic folk and traditional music; Valerie and Daniel have been getting a lot of help from The Weepies. Their easy sound and the meaning of their lyrics really fits the issues that D & V have to deal with.

Back in the day when I used to write fanfic mostly, I would start each chapter with a line or two from a song. It helped set the mood for the following prose and helped me focus. I’ve started doing that with Valerie and Daniel’s story, though if I ever decide to try and get it published (which will have to follow the equally miraculous event of actually getting the darn thing finished) I’d probably have to dump all the musical inserts because of copyright issues. Although, I do always credit the artist in those little quotes… free advertising, people!

I can’t imagine my life without music, just as I can’t imagine my life without being able to write. If I were forced to make a choicde between sight and hearing, it would be a very difficult choice indeed.