Music to Tell Stories to

NaNoWriMo is right around the corner, and—wait, what? It’s November already? We’re already 1/4 of the way through November? Well, okay…uh…okay then.

Not to panic! There’s plenty of time left to make words appear where no words were before. In a world full of work hours, school assignments, toilet scrubbing and trash collection days, it can be easy to feel the magic that is writing slip away into the mundane. But there are ways to get it back, to grab it by the slippery little tendrils left behind and pull the magic monster back into being.

For me, the easiest way to do this is through music.

This will not be a revolutionary method. Most people, if not all, know the wonders of music in shifting the mood in a room, in a movie scene, in the dusty corners of your mind. So I’m not here to reveal anything earth-shattering to you today (sorry!), but to remind you that you can rediscover your inspiration when it feels like it’s fallen through the cracks in the floorboards.

My music of choice for writing (or plotting or daydreaming) has always been soundtracks and musical scores. I find lyrics too distracting, but the popularity of video games and epic films have led to no end of amazing, sweeping music that will carry you away from this world on orchestral waves of sound. When I feel grounded to reality in a time when I really want to be hot-air ballooning through the Plot Mountains and Character Clouds, I have musical go-tos.

1. Awaken – Dario Marianelli (Jane Eyre Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

This song is perfect for…well, it’s just perfect. It starts off soft and ponderous, pushing open that mental space, making you willing to wander. Then the heartbreaking violin—so stirring I never fail to forget the world around me and descend into a feeling of yearning that craves to be put into words. Perfect for your novel’s sad moments, frustrated moments, moments of longing and of searching.

2. Evey Reborn – Dario Marianelli (V for Vendetta: Music from the Motion Picture)

Did I mention I like dramatic music? This song is beyond words…I probably shouldn’t even include it because there’s no way I can write when this is playing. But it does transcend reality for me, and shifts my mind away from complaints and “I can’ts” to a new world where change is not only possible, but unavoidable. This song hurts my heart in a beautiful way. Much like Evey, one finds themselves in this song…and maybe you’ll find your story too.

3. Monkey’s Story – Dario Marianelli (Kubo and the Two Strings Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Clearly I have a trend of loving anything by Dario Marianelli, ha. This song is softer and sweeter than the other two, but no less effective. Before I listen to it, I am sitting at a desk, but after….after, I am in a new story. It is thoughtful and hopeful and hints at something bigger than itself. Like the last two it is unashamedly emotional, which is just the sort of thing I need to remember why it is I love to tell stories in the first place.

What is your favorite noveling music? Which songs help you find your muse again? Let me know—I love finding good music!

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1 Comment

  1. I really enjoy listening to “Epic Music Soundtracks” on youtube. Sometimes I’ve put them together to inspire me even when doing errands. Feeling a bit down or life is dull? Put in earbuds and let the music play! It’s like suddenly you’re the main character and adventure is all around you. Or maybe that’s just how I feel. 😛 It’s a great feeling though. Sometimes you can get pretty ‘epic’ ideas!

    Currently my novel’s song really is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUhEOnr87_I which was nearly on repeat during 3-Day Novel Contest and a song I’ve been listening to a lot during NaNo as well since it’s the same world.

    Liked by 1 person

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