Songs and Stories

Some writers like to listen to music while they write. They need that constant epic soundtrack in the background to help the creativity to flow.

I am not one of those writers.

The truth is, I can’t concentrate when there are words in the background. The most distracting thing is to have English lyrics playing as I write. It’s only slightly easier when the lyrics are in a second language, and marginally less distracting if it’s purely instrumental. Somehow, it reminds me that reality is still there and prevents me from becoming as immersed in the story as I need to be.

Nevertheless, I do have playlists for a couple of my WIPs. At first, I figured people did it to procrastinate, but it turns out it’s useful when I’m unable to write but still want to work on my story. The playlists have tone and content which is relevant to its designated novel, helping me to think about it and mull it over as I listen. Personally, my prime listening times are usually while walking home from work or while doing housework.

Though I’m not willing to share the full playlists yet (you may have worked out that I’m quite a secretive writer), I’ve found that over time there are certain songs that I associate strongly with each WIP. They’re not theme tunes as such, but they hold something of the WIP’s aesthetic.

So, without further ado, here are the songs for each of my stories:

This is the Story of Jimmy Rose

The page for this novella has only recently appeared. I wrote it a little over a month ago. The MC is a character I’ve known for a long time, but I finally felt (almost) ready to write his story. It needs a proper title though.

His song is probably Hurt by Johnny Cash, and yes, it’s a sad story.


Planting Trees

I’ve had this story for a long time. The idea itself is a good one (if I say so myself) and I’ve written the first chapter, but I haven’t the confidence to do more yet. It’s one of those cases where you just don’t feel ready to do it justice.

But when I think of it, it makes me think of What About Us? by P!nk, so much so that I was considering changing the title.

The Untitled WIP

The story of Abilene and Jude is a difficult one because it’s an odd story. This one is currently on hold because I need to think it through more thoroughly. I know exactly what I want to do with it and how I want to do it, I just need to work out how to pull it off without Jude coming off as a complete whinge.


The Hundredth Law

Another WIP on the back burner. It’s hard to write dystopian because it’s depressing. To be honest, I’ve made more work from myself on the world-building front because I don’t want to write soft dystopian (think Hunger Games or Maze Runner), I’d like it to actually make a point. I’ve always preferred books like 1984 and Brave New World to the kind of thing that passes for dystopian now.

Anyway, this seemed like a song that worked. It was between this one and Uprising by Muse, but Muse was a little too rebellious for the plotline.


The Legend of Dreich

If any of my books counted as ‘book babies’, Legend of Dreich is it. Of course I love all my stories, but Dreich has a particularly special place in my affections. I guess it’s the story in which I don’t feel like I have to hold back on my inner quirk.

I’m pretty sure — I hope — you will like it when it’s ready to emerge into the big wild world. I wish Lindsey Stirling didn’t wriggle so much but the song is good.


The ‘Secret’ WIP

I listen to this playlist the most because it’s the novel I’m doing the most work on (Dreich comes second). It’s difficult to choose one song because I’m a pantser through and through, so the story is constantly changing and evolving.

For my most recent scene, this one seems appropriate:

Apparently it might be from Game of Thrones, but I’ve never watched it so I’m not sure. Apologies if it is, that’s simply unfortunate. For the project overall though, of all the songs out there, Run for Those Hills sticks most consistently to my poor MC.



  • What sort of music do you like to listen to?
  • If you’re a writer, do you have a theme song or playlist for your works in progress?



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