Today we warmly welcome author Lynette Ferreira again to Marcia’s Book Talk. Lynette, author of WOULD YOU REMEMBER ME?, LAYERED, ALL OVER AGAIN, and many other books, explores the power of music while writing, and how it can inspire ideas and concepts which makes writing fun and an interactive experience in and of itself. Let us allow Lynette to discuss this important and very helpful element to writing…
The Power of Music while Writing by Lynette Ferreira
As a reader, I am always interested in seeing how authors go about writing their stories and many say they write while listening to music. They claim music inspires the way they write and the way the words translate from their fingertips to paper.
This got me wondering: Why does music enable writers to write epic stories?
Music lacks images and symbols, we cannot see music and it has no relation to the world, yet music can be profoundly evocative and have deep echoes of unfamiliar, forgotten memories. Music has the ability to help us descend within ourselves, to remember long forgotten emotions. Without even knowing we are doing it, we tap our feet to the beat of the music, we hum the tune, sing the lyrics, while our facial expressions mirror the rise and fall of the musical notes. Music has the power to evoke sensations and feelings, and passions we have no memory of. This may be seen as a half-conscious connection to music, a sort of involuntary personal expression, but these effects, as the music is translated into emotions, can easily become powerful.
One of the most dramatic effects of the power of music is the induction of trance states, which can culminate in profoundly altered states of consciousness.
Musical trances while writing might be a disturbing feeling—perhaps even frightening, especially when you ‘awaken’ from this daze 20,000 words later with absolutely no idea how you did it. Then, when you read what you had written while in this daydream you are actually in awe of yourself.
This kind of writing is essentially referred to as freewriting, right-brain writing or speed-writing. Every writer has experienced moments of this strange, magical state. However, sometimes writers can write entire novels without drawing inspiration from this mystical place where imagination roams.
It is this trance-like experience which makes the writer an addict of telling stories.
Music can help a writer get into the zone, so why not try it. Find a song which you think is brilliant, one you know off by heart so it would not distract you because you aren’t really listening to it, one that calms and relaxes you, and one you know evokes the emotions you want to convey. Listen to only that one song or a couple of songs (going from soppy love song to blaring rock = distraction). Do not change your playlist in the middle of your epic novel, it will change your emotions, which in turn will alter the tone of your story. Throughout the process of writing your novel, listen to only this playlist, because music assists with short-term memory and will help you to remember the second cousin’s name of the uncle who lives in Alaska. Most importantly, soon enough when you hear the first notes of your playlist, everything inside of you, whatever makes you, you, will recall your story and it will be easier for you to get back into the writing dreamlike trance.
Make it epic!
Here is a big thank you to Lynette for contributing her useful and thought-provoking essay to Marcia’s Book Talk. For more about Lynette, check out her interview on Marcia’s Book Talk here which has contact information, and more details about where to find Lynette’s books.