Music & Books

Don’t you wish you could have a soundtrack while reading your book? I do. I love LOVE when authors add playlists to the back of their books and label them with which scenes they go to.

Because music is power. Music is a beautiful thing that magnifies what you’re feeling twenty times. So when you’re reading that emotional scene, and you play that song that goes with said scene, it’s almost like watching a movie. Actually, better. Cuz books really get into the deep stuff. They get into the nitty gritty where you know what the character is actually thinking, and you can actually smell the spices and you can feel his arm brushing against yours as you’re getting ready to dive to your possible death.


Music. I can’t tell you how many scenes in my books were inspired by music. A song comes on the radio, possibly one I’ve heard a dozen times, and then the characters appear and something happens and I have to write it down RIGHT NOW. Those usually end up being the best scenes, imo. Then, when I actually sit down to write that scene, I’ll put the song on repeat, sometimes listening to it 20-50 times, depending on how long the scene is. One song comes to mind— “Sail” by Awol Nation. I don’t really care for the actual song or the lyrics, but I just love the music at the beginning. It’s odd and fit perfect for a fighting scene I had in one of my books. I found a version on youtube that ONLY played that music over and over again for like an hour. It was bliss.

What I REALLY love is when a character is musical and loves music as much as I do. An example of this is America from The Selection. (Review coming this Friday!!) I admire her love for music, and how, even when she was in the palace, she found herself drawn to music, so it wasn’t just her job back when she was home, it was her actual passion.

I wish I were musical. I took guitar lessons for years, and even though I know a few songs and chords, I just don’t have the talent for rhythm, or the voice to sing. Luckily I married a musician, so I get to fangirl all over him while he sings and plays guitar. 😉

What about you? Do you like to listen to music while you read/write?

8 thoughts on “Music & Books

  1. What are some books that have playlists in them?? That sounds so cool! What I like to do is listen to a random piece of classical music and imagine who the characters might be and what they might be doing if this were a movie soundtrack to, say, your favorite book. You can also imagine your own stories to match the music. 🙂

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    1. I love making my own playlists in my head to my favorite books, too! It’s becoming more popular for books to add playlists. The book I can think of off the top of my head is Divergent. Although, Roth didn’t have the playlist in the back of the book– it’s in the companion book to the box set. I thought The Selection had a playlist, but I could be wrong. (I would check, but my sister’s borrowing it.)

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  2. um YESSS I love this post. I love music. When I began writing my series 2 years ago I’d hear songs on the radio and be like ‘THAT’S HOW MY CHARACTER IS FEELING RIGHT NOW!” I don’t have that many songs though on my playlist, after writing them all down it’s only about 5 per book. Oh well. I also sing and play guitar, (I never could write songs though) but my guitar strings broke, and I have to restring it. And my kids won’t let me play they just try to play the guitar instead and won’t leave me alone. I haven’t found much time to play lately. Writing has kind of taken over that space. Last note: If I had to pick a soundtrack for my entire series, it would be Mathew West’s new CD. And some of his old songs too are very, very fitting. Forgiveness being #1
    Your’e married to a musician? Awesome!

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    1. It is SO hard to find time to do anything creative with kids, isn’t it?? Writing takes up most of my creative space, too, so I haven’t played guitar much. Matthew West is awesome! Christ Tomlin has a few songs that made it into my scifi series. My problem is I have too many songs for my books! I try to trim the list down to the top ten so I could add them to the back of my book. XD

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  3. I always loved how Kathy Tyers wove music into her “Firebird” series! The titular character is a musician herself (as well as a princess and a fighter pilot…basically she’s awesome), and all the chapters had a musically inspired subtitle. 🙂

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    1. It’s been awhile since I read Firebird. I didn’t notice the musically inspired chapter titles! I’ll have to read it again. I can’t just listen to random music while writing, either. It has to be a specific song that goes to that scene, otherwise, no music except when I’m doing other things. 🙂

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