Writing fiction to music.

Hi yous guys, how’s tricks? Tonight I wanted to tell you cats about the thing that helped me most when I wrote my first novel. At 200,000 words it’s a beast, and I couldn’t have done it without this one simple trick:

Write to music.

Whatever kind of scene you’re writing, find the right soundtrack to it on your iTunes before you really get going. That’s the secret, at least for me. The right music is going to amplify your thoughts and turn your language up to 11.

For example, Tabitha’s chase scenes I wrote to a track called Escape 700 by The Chemical Brothers, which is part of the soundtrack to the film Hanna. Trippy and spaced out scenes I wrote to the glass-delicate silky milkness of Let It Take You by Goldfrapp. Bad guys got the Star Wars Imperial March (Vader’s theme) and the military base scene got the raw rising menace of In The House from 28 Days Later. (You know, the part where Jim sets the infected soldier loose and gets his grizzly revenge.)

Fight scenes (ah, the fight scenes) I found I could write much better when I was high on a vicious, searing cover of Beastie Boys’ Sabotage by Cancer Bats. It’s essential listening. And the novel’s final few scenes got the complete opposite kind of soundtrack in the shape of Never Let Me Go by Florence and the Machine, which is just this… blissful, divine, aquatic hymn to fate and acceptance. It’s beautiful.

So there you go. What kind of tunes do you guys write to? I’d love to add some more listening to my writing soundtrack.

Oh yeah, and the most important track of all. Remember that rabid digital score from the movie Dredd? That dirty static growl of a tune that introduces him? It’s called Mega City One and it’s on iTunes, and that’s what picked me up and dusted me off and kept me writing after getting back from work. And when it comes down to it, whatever tune it happens to be for you, that’s the most important track of all.

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