This past November, my NaNoWriMo region had an entire section of our chat platform dedicated to our noveling music. I got a lot of complements on my favorite Spotify writing playlist, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite tracks and my thoughts on what makes great noveling music.
First, what do I look for in good noveling music?
The most important thing for me, is that there be no lyrics. Well, English lyrics anyway. If I’m writing to music with lyrics I can understand, random words from the song end up typed into the middle of a sentence somewhere, so I stick to instrumental tracks. For the same reason, I avoid instrumental versions of songs I know the words too. As much as I love 2Cellos, they don’t usually end up on my noveling playlist.
I gravitate toward music with a strong beat and good dynamics when I’m picking out writing music. An upbeat tempo is also a plus. Something that’s going to give me a sense of rhythm while I type. I love classical music of all varieties, but I tend to be pickier with the tempo and tone for my noveling music. If the song is too subtle and soft, it doesn’t work for me. If you can’t imagine the song being used as music for a chase scene or a fight scene, odds are good it’s not going to end up on my favorites list.
Now, for some specifics.
My absolute favorite noveling music for the past few years has been Lindsey Stirling (find her on the web and YouTube). Every instrumental song by her available on Spotify is on my noveling music list. I also have a lot of music by The Piano Guys on my list. A mix of classical and rock rhythms characterizes most of those tracks.
There are, of course, plenty of soundtracks on my list as well. I tend to avoid movies with super iconic music like Star Wars, Harry Potter, or Lord of the Rings. I go for things that fit my general noveling music criteria above that come from either newer, less referenced movies, or video games. I have some tracks from Zootopia for example. I’m especially fond of Paradox Interactive video game music. Victoria II, A Game of Dwarves, Europa Universalis III, March of the Eagles, Cities in Motion 2, and Magicka are a few of the games that have tracks on my list. There’s also a few tracks from more well-known games like Halo, Skyrim, and Mass Effect. I also use the radio feature on Spotify to listen to the playlist radio, which pulls up similar music I can add, which is how I discovered Taylor Davis and Lara de Wit’s video game music album. A few of those feature on my list as well.
So that’s a bit of what I listen to while I write. Do you have any favorite noveling music? Or a song that really gets you inspired when you need it?