Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Music Notes: Writing to Music by Amy Riddle-DeClerck

Creative people need inspiration, too. I consider myself a rather creative individual, and I have ideas for stories that might make a list a mile long. What I don't have, most of the time, is the forward momentum to put those ideas on paper. This is where the music comes in. I pop my headphones on, crank up my YouTube play list, and put my fingers to the keyboard. The beat of the music, the melody, and the visual video effects can push me to think, and then I write. With the music on in the background the outside world fades away and I become entrenched in the world my characters live in. Later, when the songs have ended and my hands are tired, I look up at the clock and marvel at exactly how long I managed to concentrate.

When writing my science fiction romance novel, Forged in Fire, I listened to I Will Not Bow by Breaking Benjamin over and over. This became the theme song for my hero, Gin Draven. Driven by honor and duty he faced his fears in an effort to save his galaxy from a terrible threat. Every time I hear this song, even today, Gin's face comes to my mind. It rounded him out and helped me build his persona into a three-dimensional character with emotions and motivations beyond what I had originally planned for him.

It is a proven fact that music can alter brain waves and make it easier for the left and right brains to communicate, increasing creativity.

I got the list below from the book The Mozart Effect: Tapping the Power of Music to Heal the Body, Strengthen the Mind, and Unlock the Creative Spirit by Don Campbell.

Classical music (Hayden, Mozart) has clarity, elegance, and transparency. It can improve concentration, memory, and special perception.

Impressionist music (Debussy, Faure, Ravel) is based on free-flowing musical moods and impressions, and evokes dreamlike images. A quarter hour of musical daydreaming followed by a few minutes of stretching can unlock your creative impulses and put you in touch with your unconscious.

Rock music by such artists as U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rolling Stones, etc., can stir the passions, stimulate active movement, release tension, reduce effects of unpleasant sounds in the environment. It can also create tension, dissonance, stress, and pain in the body when we are not in the mood to be energetically entertained.

Slower Baroque music (Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Corelli) imparts a sense of stability, order, predictability, and safety and creates a mentally stimulating environment for study or work.

Romantic music (Schubert, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Liszt) emphasizes expression and feeling, often invoking themes of individualism, nationalism, or mysticism. It is best used to enhance sympathy, compassion, and love.

So, the next time you find yourself in the dreaded neighborhood of Writer's Block...just remember to turn on your I-pod, put on your headphones and close your eyes. Choose a sound that will personify the scene you're trying to write and wait. Chances are, you won't wait long for inspiration to strike!

About the Author:


Amy Riddle-DeClerck writes as AR DeClerck. She grew up in Western NC and currently resides in the Quad Cities, IL with her husband and two daughters. She loves romance and adventure, and prefers redeemable heroes and strong heroines. Her debut novel, Between: A Keyholder Novel, will be released 8-1-14 from Nevermore Press. Her sci-fi romance novel, Forged in Fire, will be released in December 2014. Look for her on facebook at https://facebook.com/authoramydeclerck or find her on Twitter https://twitter.com/ARDeClerck.

1 comment:

  1. I make up playlists for each of my stories. Songs help set mood or just resonate with characters. I do a mix of Classical/New Age, Soundtracks and Pop Hits.


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