I was skyping with a few screenwriting friends the other day and after the usual “what are you working on now?” Q&A session, I mentioned to “Irish Mike” (I know, totally lame nickname, but he is from Belfast and his name is Mike) that lately I’d been writing to the Game Of Thrones soundtrack and couldn’t wait for the second season’s soundtrack to drop. He asked me ‘How can you write with music blaring in your ears?” Irish Mike writes in total silence or as close to it as he can. For me, music is a must. It creates atmosphere, sets the tone and it even helps with emotionally charged scenes… exactly the way it does in TV shows and movies! For example, if I’m writing a chase scene or fight scene, I’ll listen to something with a fast, heavy beat. If the scene is more cerebral, I’ll listen to Mozart or Howard Shore. And we all have songs that remind us of emotional times in our lives – perhaps the song playing on the radio when you met your true love in the park or maybe it was the song playing at a funeral of a loved one, it hurt so bad you couldn’t breathe – we connect the song to the emotions. Playing these songs while writing bring those emotions forward, easier to access and apply them to your characters/story.
So how do you write? Music or no music?