Writers Boon Blog


  • Using Music to Build Your Creative Writing Skills

    Rob Kennedy


    Music to find Inspiration

    Rob is a writer, poet, and composer. He has articles on the arts and social commentary published in the Sydney Morning Herald, CityNews, Cordite, State of the Arts Magazine and Five Bells Magazine. He also runs Arts Reporter. Rob's music is at Rob J Kennedy.

    There are many ways you can get and keep that writing flow happening.

    One method is to try using music to build your creative writing skills. Music is just as diverse in style, format, quality, length and content as books are. You might say that

    The best mirror for a book, is a piece of music.

    Think of it like this, would you listen to the 1812th overture while reading a romance book? Would you read a dystopian novel while listening to music from the Renaissance period?

    If the answers to these questions are no, you can see the power that music has when connected to literature.

    Music in movies brings out a range of unwritten words.

    Two things music in movies does particularly well are:

    1. it crafts another narrative to add to the story
    2. it injects emotion into scenes.

    You can use the same process that movie music composers use, to aid your writing flow.

    Most novels have scenes which reflect and comment upon situations that happen in life, so does certain music. It's not hard to find music that will fit, or add to a scene in a book.

    The narrative in music can add to the narrative of your story, especially movie music. As movie music is already designed to aid a story, why not find a piece of movie music, and use it to inspire a scene you are working on.

    The formula is already there for you.

    Look at most 1940s Hollywood movies. Usually, the musical story is as strong as the visual and narrative story in the movie.

    Or, think of it like this. In early Hollywood, movie music used a lot of Micky Mousing. When a character was being chased up a hill, the music went up. When a car sped down a hill, the music went down. The music was synchronized to the action.

    Listening to music can inspire you to write a scene that fits an action, or emotion.

    Music can even be the basis for a scene or a whole book

    The inspiration for a story can come from a piece of well-loved music. Think of any of the famous popular songs, and any creative writer should be able to turn one of those songs into a story. Popular songs are mini stories.

    But, for writing an extended scene, you could try listening to a piece of classical music. Or, you could write a title for every scene in your plot and match it to a piece of music before you start writing.

    Chapter 1, meeting scene — Music, Romeo and Juliet – I’m Kissing You, Des'ree


    Chapter 2, love scene, — Music, Blade Runner - Love Theme, Vangelis


    Chapter 3, separation scene — Music, The Color Purple - The Separation, Quincy Jones


    You will see just how much emotion and affect the music adds to those scenes. You too can build a strong scene based upon a piece of music as the inspiration.