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Mood Music For InkDrinkers

Updated: Feb 4, 2023

***Le buveur d'encre (literally, 'ink drinker') normally means 'bookworm' in French.***

Fun fact, the initial spark for my current work in progress was the Imagine Dragons song, "Radioactive." (And I mean this in the most literal sense. That song is a banger, and I thought to myself, oOoOO what if there was a radioactive dragon?? It wasn't until a few years later that the rest of the premise dropped into my brain.)

I'm always on the lookout for good writing music. I need something to help transport me into the story, into the world. As a former musical theater nerd, I typically can't have lyrics or I'll spend my sacred writing time singing, so instrumental it is.

Epic soundtracks are a great launching point and bless Spotify, they have the best "songs like this" recommendations of any platform I've used. Not to mention there are so many fellow bookworms that have made not only writing playlists but reading playlists. Yes, you can get the perfect playlist ambiance for your reading those intense battle scenes or swoon-worthy kisses, or the songs that embody your current book boyfriend (hello Rhysand, darling.) Victoria Aveyard and Adrienne Young both have great public playlists to sift through, and though Leigh Bardugo doesn't have any of her own (as of when I'm typing this,) her fan base delivers with solid character-inspired playlists.

Anytime I hear a song that sparks an idea for a story or a character, I add it to a playlist to come back to when I have time to write. This general "writing music" collection consists mostly of epic movie soundtrack ballads. I will say, despite preferring instrumental only, this one obviously contains "Toss A Coin To Your Witcher" and "Burn, Butcher, Burn." because they're so damn catchy. Then I used Spotify's enhance function to find more songs in the same vein. Another outstanding choice is an instrumental version of rock or pop songs (looking at you, Bridgerton.)

I've got several songs that repeat on a smaller playlist specific to my novel's magical realm, but my favorite and most effective playlist has to be the one for my villain. Sinister with tragic backstory vibes. This playlist must be on when I'm channeling the inner workings of Rehnir. I knew it worked when my husband came in after I'd been writing for a while and he asked if I was upset with him. I answered with a clipped, "No, I'm writing a Rehnir scene." Smart man that he is, he promptly left me to my own nefarious devices until I emerged several hours later, shaking off the chilling fog the playlist had cast on me.

The exception to my must-have-mood-music-mode is when I'm editing. The music that fuels my drafting is too much when I'm meticulously line editing and checking for errors.

Do you have music playing when you read or write? Who are your favorite authors who share their music inspo? I will always accept recs for your own magic-inspiring music.

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