Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Music's Inspiration

I'm looking forward to seeing some wonderful opera tonight by Puccini. And, I'm anticipating watching to see and hear the action and the music reach crescendo and climax with drama and soaring sound. Whether the music is folk, jazz, rock, reggae, hip hop, house, choral, symphonic or grand opera, I'm always reminded of story - writing the story - and taking the story to its grabbing and enticing heights of tension.

The overture offers strains of the coming sections of music, fragments of the happy and triumphant parts of the characters lives and dark and foreboding tones of the tragedy that may unfold. Like the composer who weaves through the symphony or opera the threads and clues to the characters' fates, so as story tellers we include suggestions throughout the story or novel that draw the reader in and propel the characters and plot forward.


I and most writers may not write with the mastery of the genius Puccini but the study of music can help illuminate for us skills to improve our writing and to bring the story to a high point of tension.

What is your favorite music style? Does it help guide you with plot, character development and crescendo?


  1. I have never been a fan of opera. But I do love music - classical, jazz, rock, and folk. Lately, I've been listening to itunes while I write. I find it helps my mind to wander.

  2. I am a total music lover, but I never write with music on. I know some writers create tracks and play them over and over as they work, but I haven't tried it. Now that I have my wonderful new Mac and my internet connection is strong (knock wood), I may log on to or another similar site and program in a play list and write. I'll let you know how it works.

  3. I enjoy all different types of music. Different songs/styles for different moods.

    Sometimes I make a soundtrack for a character or a particular scene - mostly popular music. I sometimes assign a character or a couple, or a scene a song so that when I lose sight of the feeling I want to convey I play it and it helps me get back into the mood I'm trying to create.

  4. I've tried to write with a CD going in my computer, but found it too distracting. I couldn't treat the music as background and got too involved in listening for key changes and favorite lyrics or themes. Guess the composers would be pleased, but my word muse wasn't.