Writing with Headphones

Today I’m over at OneFour Kidlit talking about how I created a playlist for The Chance You Won’t Return and why that helped me through the writing process. (Plus gifs, of course.)

Another song that felt just right for The Chance You Won’t Return was “Simple Song” by the Shins:

I especially like the chorus: “Don’t go thinking you gotta be tough, to play like a stone / Could be there’s nothing else in our lives so critical / As this little home!” It totally reminds me of Alex trying to hide all the drama at home from her boyfriend and friends. And the song itself has that great forward momentum that I associate with a lot of the songs from the TCYWR playlist.

Do you associate certain songs with your books/characters? Share them in the comments!

Create Your Own Literary Soundtrack

In grad school, I used to work in the same building that housed the college radio station. Whenever I entered or exited the building, I could hear whatever the station was playing, which made me feel like I was living in a movie. Everything works better with a soundtrack–including writing projects.

For most novels, I put together a playlist of songs that I associate with the characters and story. Most of the time it’s just a tone I’m looking for. I’ll set it to shuffle when writing and let the music fade into background inspiration.

One song that worked particularly well for Queen of the Air was Arcade Fire’s “Keep the Car Running.” It has a great momentum and touches on themes of wanting to escape. Check out the video below to hear the whole song.

What are your favorite writing songs?