Getting in Tune with the Epic – Musics to Inspire Your Writing
As a writer, I am always, well, writing. And as anyone who’s ever written anything knows, it’s a rather solitary activity.
But there is nothing I love more than sitting at my computer (or with pen and paper—kickin’ it old school), headphones on, music playing, tea at the ready, and words flowing. It’s my favorite place to be.
Music isn’t just great for tuning out the rest of the world (a crucial task, if we’re ever going to get these books finished)—it’s also an amazing tool for setting the mood of whatever you’re writing. When it all comes down to it, our words are really just trying to do two things: Convey an action, or convey an emotion. With the age-old tenant of “show, don’t tell,” bouncing around in our minds, music is a writer’s best friend; Music conveys so much without a single word, and when we get into that “zone” we can really start to write something beautiful.
Finding good playlists can be hard, though, especially when trying to capture the exact mood of what’s happening to your characters. So, to help you get started, here are some of my all-time favorites:
Halo 3 Soundtrack
Writing something about war? Space? Epicness? Maybe even a little…mystical? Halo’s got you covered.
Don’t let the name of my favorite song from this soundtrack fool you—it’s a beautiful piece. The rhythm of the drums, the chorus…if this doesn’t put you in a powerful mood, I don’t know what will!
The Gladiator Soundtrack
Another gorgeous collection, with a tragic but hopeful tenor, is the music of Gladiator. My favorite track from this movie is this, featuring the vocal talents of the incredible Lisa Gerard.
The Sunshine Soundtrack
Writing a scifi? Or even a psychological thriller? Sunshine has just the soundtrack for that—complete with dramatic snippets of speech from the movie.
My favorite song from this collection is…well…”Sunshine.” Give it a listen, it’s amazing.
The Inception Soundtrack
Possibly one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever heard, Inception has a great and unique sound, perfect for the dramatic. Much like the movie these songs were composed for, the tone here suits psychological thrillers and mind games.
This is my favorite song from the soundtrack—one of my favorite songs ever. According to iTunes, I’ve listened to this song 218 times.
All of These Songs
John Murphy – “In the House, In a Heartbeat”
There’s something totally epic about this song. Love it!
Hans Zimmer – “A Fire Will Rise”
The whole movie’s soundtrack is good, of course, but there’s something about this song I truly adore. Powerful!
Apocalyptica – “Until It Sleeps”
This song always seems kind of sad to me…but I think it’s beautiful.
Jalan Jalan – “Lotus”
Magical. That’s the word for this song. It’s magical. A little forlorn, but entirely wonderful.
Basically Anything by Clint Mansell
It’s no secret that Clint Mansell is one of my favorite composers. He’s amazing. He has a flair for the theatrical, which goes well with my own affinity for dramatic tales.
I have two favorites from this amazing composer—first up, “Lux Aeterna”: An absolutely beautiful piece from the movie Requiem for a Dream:
It’s pretty much epic. Need to write an epic scene? You almost can’t fail to do so with this bad boy playing.
And, last on the list, what is probably my favorite song ever…“Death is the Road to Awe” from The Fountain.
This song is beautiful, powerful, complex…and so very emotional. I don’t really play this song for specific scenes—I play it for whole projects. I play it to feel inspired like never before. The last minute of this song is, to me, so overwhelmingly beautiful…I can listen to it on endless repeat and never tire of it. The best way to describe what “Death is the Road to Awe” means to me is that I want my books to feel the way this song sounds.
And if you need even more variety, Pandora has an “Epic Soundtracks” station that I like to put on sometimes. You know, when I want to feel epic (which, let’s face it, is basically all the time). These songs get me through almost every writing project, and every time I listen to these pieces, I seem to find something new to love about them.
What about you—how do you write? Do you have any songs, artists, or albums you like to listen to when writing? Or even reading? I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments!
By Eve Jacob. Eve Jacob is an artist some days, a scientist others, and a writer always. It’s a wonder that she ever gets anything done, but based on the updates to her website, she can at least write blog posts on a fairly consistent basis. By day, she’s a not-so-mild-mannered owner of a social media management company, and by night, she works on her novel, because sleep is for the weak. She is a fan of tea, a hopeless geek, and an Oxford comma enthusiast.