Musical marinade

Amanda Hocking today posted her playlist she listened to while working on her current book, and part of me cheered. 🙂 I haven’t checked to see what’s on hers yet, but it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who puts her brain into a musical marinade when writing.

My playlist changes with the story — I did one novel-length work with a single song, and the key scene clicked somewhere about repetition 67,432. As I mentioned in comments on this post, I’d been envisioning as between two of the three key characters, only to realize I had the wrong two just as I started writing the chapter. It was only because I’d let the song and the dynamics soak in that I realized I’d had it backwards.

For Book 1 — which really needs a working title soon — I’ve got a whole list: Rise Up (R. Kelly), Off I Go (Greg Laswell), Sing (Annie Lennox), Suddenly I See (KT Tunstall), Stronger (Kayne West), Hello World (Lady Antebellum), Fear (Stop Making Friends), Rolling (Seal), Dark Road (Annie Lennox), Hallelujah (Jeff Buckley), Prayer for the Dying and Amazing (both by Seal), My Friend (Groove Armada), Fire in Your Eyes (B. Taylor & Pauley Perrette) and Lost! (Coldplay).

I’ve added some and dropped some off, and this will probably change more as I go along. Sometimes I’ll stick a song on repeat while I’m writing — it taps into what my sister would call the Aspergers’ part of my brain. Other times, I’ll just let it play through in shuffle. For a while when I was working on Book 2 (aka Better the Devil), I had Amazing on repeat because something about that song just unlocked the words in my brain. No idea if it’s the music or the lyrics or the combination — just knew it worked.

Do you use music when you write? Or do you have another go-to trick?