So this may not actually turn into anything I will continue to do, but I thought it might be worth a stab. Music plays a huge part in my writing. It helps to conjure certain scenes, settings, and emotion and allows me to get into my character’s heads in a deeper way than I would otherwise. If you’re struggling with writer’s block or basic blockage of inspiration, soundtracks and other sources of music might just be the key to unlocking the floodgates of inspiration.
All of my book playlists are on my Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/user/12143235489?si=Xn8IPy-JSRqX0tEXaVj92A for you to listen to, but in this post, I’ll be sharing my top songs from my playlist for the first book in my series Instruments of Sacrifice called Spirit Followers. And this will be easier than any other playlist post I’ll ever do because this playlist has only half as many as all my other ones. I guess as my word count grows so does my music.
I’ll do my best to not spoil my own book, but since many songs were used to help me write big and important scenes, it might happen. I’ll be sure to warn ya before it happens. Or I’ll just refer to the chapter and try to bait you into the reading the book.
Oh, YEAH. You should read the book. It’s the first in YA high fantasy series centering on these magical objects called the Instruments of Sacrifice that everyone wants, except for Camaria, the main protagonist who has no clue what they are. She only wants to preserve her home and the safety of her sister’s but there are evilllll people who have other things in mind which brings up some stuff in her past and this ancient people group everything thought (hoped) was dead but they aren’t. And they’re called the Spirit Followers. Okay, so yeah, you should read it.
Solider by Fleurie is actually a song I listen to for every single fantasy book I write. It is a “marching into madness” anthem as I like to call it. It makes you feel badass, or in my case, makes you want to jump in with a badass character and slay some peoples. It’s a song about perseverance, reaching home, and protecting who you are throughout it all. It’s the song of Camaria, my main girl, and thus brings me into her state of mind every time I listen to it. Okay, and actually, the entirety of Fleurie’s cinematic album Love and War is great to listen to when writing, or in general.
So the entire Lord of the Rings soundtrack is great to write to, BUT, The Lighting of the Beacons by Howard Shore from the extended Return of the King is one of the most epic pieces in the movie since it’s like…9 minutes long and crescendos into the most beautiful moment musically of this entire movie. Also, the mountains of New Zealand covered in snow as the bonfires are lit to signal Rohan in the movie is gorgeous. The scene of the movie is a massive turning-point, and you can really feel it in the music. Thus, is inspired a scene at the end, that I won’t refer to specially. But if you’ve read it, its THE SCENE where we all start to feel like, “okay maybe the bad guys won’t win.”
One of the most emotionally charging pieces I listened to while writing Spirit Followers was Into the Cave by Antonio Pinto from The Host soundtrack. This song didn’t inspire one single scene in the book, but did act as a great background song for any scene where hope needed to be penetrated into the story. The song drips in hope. It’s beautiful.
I wasn’t really doing “character themes” until I started writing the second book Keepers of the Crown (out this year btw), but there is one song on this playlist that I listened to whenever I needed to get into Fiera’s head. That being Katniss Afoot by James Newton Howard from The Hunger Games soundtrack. Like Katniss, Fiera could live in the woods and just hunt forever. This song brings about the moon, but with its underlying sounds of anxiety, it tremors to the beat Fiera is at throughout the entirety of the book. The song is steady, yet uncertain as Fiera is.
And finally, the song that conjures up the entire story for me is Radioactive by Imagine Dragons. This would be like the “trailer” song so to say, or the song plays when the credits roll. It’s epic in sound and lyricism, and every time I listen to it, I can easily picture the first time Cam and co, walk into Cinis Lumen. The songs sounds like how Cinis Lumen smells and feels like.
The entire Spirit Followers playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/12143235489/playlist/02NHgaGENbIXpeuRSB4UtY?si=wt3VlVYwSQ2AnmSgiZjxOQ
My playlists for all my other books are more fun for me to talk about, so you’ll probably be seeing more like this in the future. In the meantime, drop me your recs in the comments!