Can music affect the way you write?

The concert pianist Lang Lang strikes up the mood for music and writing.
The concert pianist Lang Lang strikes up the mood for music and writing.

WHATEVER MUSIC YOU PLAY in the background affects your writing. It helps if it’s instrumental, because lyrics can be distracting. Try to find tunes which suit the mood, culture, period or setting of your story.

Ideally, the music you play in the background should have medium or fast tempo. The tempo of the music will affect your heart rate as well as your subconscious. Fast, bouncy music leads to fast-paced scenes, while ambient relaxation music can give your scene the pace of a slug.

Consider burning a CD or creating a playlist for every WiP, or better still, for every scene.

Is Harry Hero about lead his loyal henchmen into battle against the Forces of Evil? Will Helga Heroine defend her virtue against Vicious Vince?

Put on fast music, and the fight will practically write itself.

Here are some of the tunes I play while writing fight scenes. At YouTube, you can listen to them for free. Just don’t be tempted to watch the clips when you should be writing.

* Sabre Dance by Aram Khachaturian. Very fast, exciting, perfect for sword or dagger fights.

* The final of the overture to the opera William Tell (aka Wilhelm Tell aka Guillaume Tell) by Giaochino Rossini. Very fast, great for cavalry charges.

* Ceddin Denden, a traditional Turkish military song. Medium tempo, good for historical fiction.

* Walkürenritt aka Ride of the Valkyries by Richard Wagner. Dramatic and intense, good for final showdown fights at the climax of the novel.

* Unstoppable by E.S. Posthumus. Dramatic, good for realistic, gritty, violent scenes.

* Kafkas Lezginka (aka Kavkas Lezginka), a traditional tune from the Caucasus, used for ultra-masculine folk dance performances. Good for dagger and fencing fights.

* 40 Göktürklü. Soundtrack from a Turkish historical movie. Good pace, steady bouncy rhythm, some singing.

* Seyh Samil aka Sheik Shamil aka Seyx Schamil and various other spellings. A famous folk song from the Caucasus and the Middle East, celebrating the heroism of a historical resistance leader. This is an instrumental version with a steady rhythm.

You can also listen to military marches, which generally have a steady medium-to-fast rhythm. However, their exuberant mood is designed to make soldiers happy about going to war and does not reflect the brutal reality of battles.

Movie soundtracks, especially from fight scenes, are often dramatic and intense. Although they lack the steady rhythm most authors need for writing, they’re great for plotting and sure to get you into the mood.

Put on music – apply fingers to keyboard – write!

Please click the book cover image to read more about author/editor Rayne Hall and her books.


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