• Abigail Linhardt

Writing Soundtracks

I don't listen to music often when I write. The times I can remember doing it are: the first time I killed a character (about 12 years ago), writing my first ever action scene, the first time I wrote a really sad love scene, and most recently I broke out the music for "Prince of Midwest" (out this March!) and a scene in the second book of "The Camelot Project" quadrilogy.

More often what I do with music in relation to writing, is think of the "end credits song" it would have if it were a movie. Or what song would play during a pivotal moment in the book turned movie. This is like day-dreaming wish fulfillment. It's slightly more lame than listening to music while you write.


Why not listen to music when you write? Because it infects the writing too much. You write to the beat of the music. Some people (and I have seen far more than one) write TO the music and say things like "It makes more sense if you listen to this track while reading." Well, I won't have that track and neither will the agent or publisher you are quarrying. And please, DO NOT SEND MUSIC LINKS with your manuscript. I have only seen one author who wanted to do that and I got kicked from the writing group for begging them to not send an hour compilation of Two Steps From Hell with their summary. Though Two Steps is awesome.


So what do I imagine? For my book that is out right now, "Revary", I imagine Eurielle! I have two songs from her. This top one, "Carry Me" is the end credits scene. So I'll get to that later. The first that would be in the movie is "City Of The Dead".

This one would play during some montage showing the kids' lives. Max being bullied, Clare being ignored by her family, feeling lost. Al trying his best to win at life. Jeff, alone with no one around anywhere. Stella working so hard to cover up her insecurities and being bullied. Lance feeling out of place among his meat-head peers. It would be a great moment in the film. It's not in the book, funny enough! But when you translate things to film, you have to make some changes. So, yes, this would be the first one. I think it works because it has a sense of modern tones, but also that epic fantasy vibe. That's why all these work.


Now..."Carry Me" is a different story and I can't really talk about it without giving away a huge bit of the ending and I KNOW not everyone has read the book. So let's just say it would be after the ending during the credits. It has to do with the kids' final moments in Revary before they escape and cross back over for the last time. It would be Clare's thoughts on what they left behind. Those of you who have read it will enjoy it, I think. I cry every time! :)


So, I know a lot of people say music helps them write, but for me it often doesn't. I don't like noise because then it drowns out the sounds in my head and doesn't let me hear or smell or see what is really going on. I have to completely get into the actual scene (not the scene the music is creating) and write from that. If music is your thing, try it without. See how much more vivid your scenes are when not encumbered by someone else's vision.

 © Copyright 2020 by Abigail Linhardt