What music, if any, do you listen to when writing?

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K Robert Donovan

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What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when writing?

I'm not sure how to classify the music, but I listen to instrumental pieces from some of the following artists:

- Jeremy Soule
- Two Steps from Hell
- Jo Blankenburg
- Twelve Titans music
- Ivan Torrent
- Audiomachine
- E.S. Posthumnus
- Thomas Bergesen
- Hans Zimmer

Just to name a few of my favorites. The mood or tone I need to write might determine what I chose to listen to.
 

PiaSophia

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None, usually. But I don't enjoy total silence while I write. Which means that my TV is sometimes on all day without me having watched it a single minute. Or going to a crowded place just to sit and write. I guess I'm not the only one, haha.

If I'm in the rare mood of listening to music while I write (which usually is at the editing stage) it depends on my mood. As long as it's not something I want to sing alone to and get too distracted, it's fine.
 

Kat M

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I keep a Spotify playlist for each WIP. I add to it and prune it periodically to keep it fresh. It's music guaranteed to get me "in the mood," and what that is depends on the WIP.

I don't mind lyrics (I'm a teacher; I'm used to concentrating amidst 20+ conversations); in fact some songs are on there because the lyrics speak to something in my story (one of my first editing passes is "get rid of all the unnecessary song lyrics").

So for my main WIP I have a playlist of Celtic music. I'm starting a new one about the old-time fiddling community, so banjos predominate that playlist. And every trunked novel about church ladies has its own playlist of church music . . .
 

iBleed2

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I like to listen to Lord of the Rings sound track, and that has branched off to several other movie sound tracks (Tron is quite good!). With my WIP, I've been listening to storm sounds since it is storming throughout the entire novel. It makes it easier to get into the setting of the novel.
 

K Robert Donovan

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I like to listen to Lord of the Rings sound track, and that has branched off to several other movie sound tracks (Tron is quite good!). With my WIP, I've been listening to storm sounds since it is storming throughout the entire novel. It makes it easier to get into the setting of the novel.

I have used storm background as well if I find my music to be too energetic and distracting.

I even found battle background WITH a storm to listen to while writing a battle scene that transpires in the middle of a storm. Shocked that I found it.
 

Laer Carroll

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NONE. I'm a guy and have a typical guy's laser focus on a target and get confused if I have to split my attention.

My lady friend can time-share her attention on several activities and do them all at genius level. I don't dare attempt that.

Matters have become even worse now that I'm studying to play the piano and read sheet music. I'll hear a musical piece and my focus shifts to the music. I find myself visualizing the notes on the score and my fingers trying to play the (often several) instruments. Sometimes I begin to compose variations on the themes in the music.

Maybe when I get nearer being a pro level musician all of this will come closer to automatic and subconscious acts. But for now any music ruins my focus on my story.
 

The Elder Salp

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Ah, I love to make music playlists for when I'm writing. I tailor each one to the story; if it's cosmic horror I'll get a lot of Graham Plowman and stuff inspired by various cosmic horror stories (stuff related to the game Bloodborne is fantastic, as is its OST). For historical fiction I'll get music of that time period - I'm a fan of old-timey music anyway, and some more modern bands still have the right feel, like the Pogues.

If I don't have a specific playlist, maybe when I'm just testing stuff or early on, I'll just listen to my normal music, which is a pretty eclectic collection, everything from Johnny Cash to modern techno.
 

Kjbartolotta

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Ah, I love to make music playlists for when I'm writing. I tailor each one to the story; if it's cosmic horror I'll get a lot of Graham Plowman and stuff inspired by various cosmic horror stories (stuff related to the game Bloodborne is fantastic, as is its OST).

I have never heard of Graham Plowman so thank you. I listen to The Sound Phenomenon a lot for FROM Software OSTs, the ambient arrangements are really good and mainly leave out the boss tracks, which I find distracting sometimes.
 
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BillL

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I have a Spotify playlist of nearly 500 metal songs that all stimulate my creative thinking in some way. Or so I tell myself. Over time I just started adding songs I really like, which is just as well. As narcissistic as this is, I also add songs when I notice tangential similarities between their lyrics and my writing. There's no better source for inventing literary conflict than the mindless aggression of generic metalcore!
 

Shoeless

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I don't always write to music, but when I do, I usually go with soundtracks. I'm currently listening to a lot of anime and video game soundtracks as I write, although usually when I'm gearing up for some fighty/explode-y action scene, I'll pull out The Matrix 2 chateau soundtrack to keep the mood going.
 

E.F.B.

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My preference is to write in silence, so I mainly listen to music while writing when it's necessary to drown out distracting background noise that I have no control over. Like, when my dad decides he's going to watch TV for hours. But it has to be instrumental music because anything with words distracts me from the words in my head.

Sometimes I listen to music that goes with the tone of the story, and if I can't find that, I listen to whatever I happen to feel like listening to. Anything from Lindsey Stirling, to random YouTube composers, to video game soundtracks, to movie spundtracks, work for me, just so long as it's somewhat pretty (sorry I just don't do metal or rock in any form) and doesn't have words or otherwise distract me somehow. The Horizon Zero Dawn videogame soundtrack has been working for my current short story.
 
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Shoeless

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The Horizon Zero Dawn videogame soundtrack has been working for my current short story.

That's a really haunting soundtrack for a fantastic game. The Nier Automata soundtrack is also amazing, but has fictional language vocals in it.
 

mistri

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I don't like writing in silence. Usually, if I listen to artists I like, I end up tuning them out. But if it becomes intrusive I switch to instrumental music, usually Philip Glass or Einaudi (in fact if anyone can recommend similar to them that would be great!).
 

JosieK

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Depends on the mood, but it needs some sort of a beat to it for me to type to. Growing up is was always classic rock - now I tend towards grunge/punk, electronic, or folksy stuff if I'm feeling a relaxed session
 

Paul Lamb

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I need the silence to mentally enter the fictional universe I'm working on when I'm writing. I get up freakishly early in the morning so I have a quiet house. This has proven to be the best for me, though I have done some writing in noisier places. So no music for me.
 

Cobalt Jade

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I can't listen to anything except surrounding noise when writing. Hum of the fridge, birdsong, occasional car noises, that's it.
 

Will Collins

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It's been twenty-one pilots for a while now. :)
 

litdawg

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Silence punctuated by child noise, email chimes, and the house-shaking snores of my Bernese Mountain Dog. Seriously, that dog! 125 pounds of floppy airways!
 

Lady_Phenyx

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I have a playlist on youtube I listen to - I change it up now and again, move songs on or off it, but I keep it mostly the same so that when I hear it, it's like I can switch my brain to work mode. Like, "Hear that music, brain? It's writing time!" And then it's background noise unless I get stuck, at which point it's something pleasant to tune into during a quick break so I don't get distracted by something else. It's a very mixed bag right now.

I did have a sequence I wrote while listening to Nox Arcana's Blackthorn Asylum, though. Sometimes I really have to set the mood to make it work - nothing like trying to write intense action to gentle music or something soft to a battle them.
 

ironmikezero

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Usually I write in silence, but for the subtle ambient sounds of a quiet two-person household. There are a few exceptions, of course.

I sit at a computer desk in a small den framed in wall-to-wall bookcases (shamelessly over-laden--if the shelves had voices I think they'd groan). To my left is the sole widow offering a mere slice of the small grotto-like yard overgrown with a riot of ivy, ferns, broad-leaf trees, and an eclectic collection of birdbaths. This verdant collage often echoes with muted birdsong; I don't find that distracting in the least.

Sometimes my wife will spend an afternoon at her piano. It's in another room, but I can hear her playing softly. That's not typically a distraction either, unless she's playing a piece I've been trying to learn on the guitar. That may snag my attention, my focus floating away and drifting with the melody. A momentary lapse perhaps, but a pleasant one, and sometime inspirational. I don't mind at all.
 

storywriter24

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i like to listin to classtical french music and dave mattews band , coldplay and john mayer but i like all kinds of music
 

RFHunter

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Classical or low fi hip hop beats to chill and study to
 

VeryBigBeard

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Currently, the "1812 Overture" by Tchaikovsky.

Which contains a useful writing maxim: when running out of ideas, add cannons.
 

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