Sunday, August 3, 2008

Musical Inspiration... or Silence Is Golden?

Have you ever noticed how many authors are inspired by music? As a reader I love hearing what goes on in the heads of my favorite writers when they create the books I love. Does silence let the characters voices be heard? Or does the muse need music to soothe the savage soul? Does the story need rock n roll? The clash of heavy metal? Classical or celtic? Or perhaps even rap?
As a writer I've discovered that each story has different needs and sometimes changes dramatically along the way to reflect the way the story is progressing. I've discovered that silence rarely works for me - I need the background noise to tune out everyday distractions. As to the music well, Believe In The Magic was written primarily to the haunting sounds of Enya and Clannad. Finding The Magic was totally different and was written to Daniel Powter and James Blunt. My work in progress, the 3rd of the Shifting Magic series is being written to Coldplay's Viva La Vida.
Something else I've discovered? It has to be LOUD. Yes, I think my family hates me :)
Do you enjoy hearing what inspires your favorite authors? Are you a writer who has found inspiration in music? Or is silence golden? Whether a writer or a reader, have you ever been surprised as to what music has made a story flow?


Lynn LaFleur said...

Love music when I write! I like soft instrumentals, New Age, soundtracks. If I play songs with words, I end up singing instead of writing.

Cait, I love Enya too. She is incredible.


Diana said...

Sorry, I'm the opposite. I like only the sounds of nature (the birds, the locusts in the trees, the hammers putting a new roof on the house across the street...).

I love music and love going to concerts (if you love Yanni...check out Heath Vercher ( He's got GREAT instrumentals!), but I can't write to it. Did so only once when one of Enya's pieces inspired me. Read it back two weeks later without the music playing and found it to be lifeless. The music made it special.

So now I write only to environmental noises, which quickly disappear as I sink into the world of my characters. Then I find myself listening to what THEY play on their radios!

Good post, Cait!

Titania Ladley said...

I'm with Diana. I'm a silence-is-golden type of gal. When weather permits, I often write on my back deck overlooking the woods. I can hear the leaves swishing in the wind, various birds singing, and beautiful silence, all of which enhance my concentration. But I get easily distracted by music (no matter how loud), people talking, the TV, or even just *knowing* someone else is in the house can blow my concentration.

Great topic, Cait! I enjoy hearing what inspires other authors, so I'll be watching the comments here very closely. :)


N.J.Walters said...

Silence is golden when I'm writing. I don't mind regular city noise. It's like white noise in the background to me. But I can't listen to music while I write. I get too caught up in the music. LOL

I often listen to music when I'm trying to plot. I find it very inspirational then.

Cait Miller said...

Thanks for your comments guys! I can't listen to very new music since I would be too busy paying attention to it :) But familiar favorites work... and it has to be loud so it's almost like white noise, drowning out the distractions. Don't get me wrong, sometimes silence works too but if I'm getting nowhere because I am too busy listening to everything else that's going on...