Do you use music to set your mood? What style? Genre? Does it change?
I drive about 45 minutes each way for work. This gives me my ‘alone time’ where I work out plot issues, write dialog (in my head, obviously. I don’t take notes at 75 mph) and figure out what my characters are doing. My musical selection varies greatly depending on what part of the story I am working on.
For example: While I was characterizing Jerok; working out chapter 3, some of his actions in the castle, etc. I played Queen’s “I Want It All” almost on an endless loop. The idea of titling chapters with song lyrics came from doing this, since I felt that song personified who Jerok is at the start of the book. “Adventure seeker, on an empty street. Just an alley creeper, light on his feet.” Tell me that isn’t chapter 3!
Fight scenes are something completely different. My goto song for plotting out battle scenes is “The Four Horsemen” by Mettallica. The power, movement, and instrumentation in that song is inspiring. I am particularly fond of the bridge at about 2:30. Great stuff. I am a bit broader here though, in that I also pick up two songs by Dokken: “Mr. Scary”, and “Dream Warriors”.
General characterization and plot calls for something completely different. When I need inside Mirian’s mind, or pretty much anyone that isn’t Jerok, I have a folder set aside with a couple of Sonatas by JS Bach, Piano Duets as well as ‘Sonata in D’ for two pianos. Again, movement and mood are perfect for delving into the twists and turns of a characters mind.
So, I turn it back to the reader for whom I still wait. So far my hit count is still at 0 but someone is bound to have a miskey issue any day now. If you do, and are reading this, what music inspires your muse? Or do you find it more of a distraction than a help?