These days I tend to mix up my writing habits in order to prevent myself becoming too dependent on a single setting to write.
I don’t ever really want to be one of those writers who can only compose when the wind is blowing south westerly, listening to Puccini’s Madama Butterfly on repeat, wearing a toga and sipping wine from a plastic skull.
I only did that one time.
However, there are patterns in how I write. Generally, I write with music on unless I’m very tired or line editing.
I’ll compose first drafts to whatever fits the mood of the piece.
For example, with Forever I wrote most of the first draft while listening to Kings Of Leon because it made me think of travelling through a neon lit city at night, good bourbon and relationships falling apart. I have no idea why. In the case of All That Glitters, I’m taking a different approach as the language of the piece – in particular the voice of the narrator and the lead character – are so important, I’ve dispensed with lyrical music almost entirely and I’m listening to instrumental pieces.
In particular, I’m really enjoying cellist Zoe Keating’s stuff because – damn – that musician can play. I’m so glad I’ve seen her perform live. I’m blending that stuff with some more tradition classical favourites like the previously mentioned Puccini, Beethoven and soundtracks such as Master and Commander and Morse.
Naturally, all fight scenes are written to Metal. How about you?
NB – This is Zoe performing Tetrishead at Macworld 2011: