Sunday, 12 January 2014

Musical musings

One of the things that interests me about writing is ambience (no, not the white things that take you to hospital) and how authors create it.

I always write to music. It helps create atmosphere. Favourite artists for writing? The Irish band Clannad trigger something deep in me, as does some Mike Oldfield stuff. And Mercy Street by Peter Gabriel is so haunting that it takes my mind to the places from which stories spring. Indeed, it inspired a novel based on a single line in the lyrics.

While researching this, I came across a blog by Indra Sena, who said: “If you are struggling with writer’s block, looking for inspiration while crafting, or having trouble getting started when you sit down to write, music just might be the perfect muse. Music can relax or invigorate you. The lyrics often refer to timeless themes, much the way writing does. Instruments can also express a wide variety of emotional nuance. Anger, sorrow, joy and despair are all common emotions music seeks to express. You can use music to bring you into these states of feeling and infuse your writing with rich emotion. I like to listen to music the entire time I'm writing. However, even if you prefer to write in silence, music can give you the jump-start you need to begin moving your pen.”
I have started a discussion, asking what gets you in the mood, at our Facebook site at

John Dean

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