Thursday, April 8, 2010

I, Tunes

That was a bad pun for a title, but I couldn't resist.

I was delighted by all playlist/music questions for April's Q&A and I thought I'd write a bit more about how playlists work in my writing process.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I use music to get through tough spots in writing. I'm fortunate in that I've never (and hope that will continue to be the case) suffered writer's block. That doesn't mean that I don't encounter bottlenecks in writing - these are places where a scene isn't quite working, or I just need a little more space to figure out what happens next. The best thing for me to do at points like that are to walk away from my laptop and listen to music. I can do this while wandering around the house, doing dishes, walking the dogs, or driving, but I have to have music to get the process started. This system has never failed me.

I do have playlists for all my novels and they are extensive. I have a song for each chapter and often for multiple scenes within a chapter. I also have what I consider theme songs for each character. When we get closer to Nightshade's release date I plan to do a week of posts that are character profiles plus these theme songs.

For now I thought I'd offer an example of how my playlist works using another popular question: What about the romance?

Yes, there is lots of lust and angst and kissing in Nightshade. I'm a romantic at heart and it's pretty hard to imagine myself ever writing a book that did not have these components at work.

Here is the Calla, Ren, Shay love triangle song: American Analog Set, The Green Green Grass

For those who prefer electronic remixes, Telefon Tel Aviv did an amazing one of this song. I love both versions so take your pick:


  1. Sometimes I think we're two versions of the same person. Just sayin'.

  2. Good song! Looking forward to the rest once the book comes closer. I think music is a HUGE part of writing and reading, it really enhances the experience of it all.
    Can't wait.

  3. Love the song! I'd never heard it. Looking forward to your complete playlist!

    Love your website and blog. I found you through Jill, who's working with my book as well. Congrats on your upcoming release.

  4. Thanks Mary! Isn't Jill amazing :) I'm so glad you stopped by.

  5. Mary - Just visited your blog; your book sounds awesome. I'll be bugging Jill for an ARC! :)

  6. I've never listened to music while writing. I imagine I'd get too wrapped up in the words of the songs to keep track of the words pouring out of my head.

    I liked this song though, and its 'barely there' quality might just work for me.

  7. Hey Alyssa,

    Yeah - it's strange; I can listen to music while I'm writing, but not when I'm reading :)