A little while back, I did a post on how I use music to help inspire my writing and keep my wheels turning, even when I can’t write. I thought it might be time to update that list to include some of the tracks fueling my ideas now. Maybe some of these will help you too, if you’re stuck for inspiration!
Happier (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist Version)
The arrangement of this duet is so pretty and captures the conflicting emotion of the song, painting the painful breakup story in a way the original version never quite hit me, so I like it for some of those particularly angsty relationship scenes.
Haunted by Taylor Swift
This song really does have a “haunted” sound to it, and while the story the lyrics tell focus more on a woman haunted by a relationship, I typically apply it to my writing less for that than for the tragic, unsettled ambiance it captures.
Those Nights by Skillet
This is my go-to nostalgia song. A great team/friend group song for those character relationships that go way back.
Yellow Flicker Beat by Lorde
“This is the start of how it all ends. They used to shout my name, now they whisper it,” is such an intriguing line for any character, but to me it’s most exciting when I’m trying to pin down a villain, somebody with nothing left to lose, whose journey has warped and pushed them to the point that they are ready to burn it all down.
Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) by the Eurythmics
There’s a reason this one is repeatedly used in film and television; it doesn’t have a specific story, but it’s got an urgent beat and does capture a very strong mood. Sometimes I just use this song to clear my head so I can get into a more imaginative headspace.
More Than It Seems by Kutless
A great song for a character starting to come into their own or ready to seize their power, I tend to turn to this one when my characters are struggling out of a low point. Plus, the use of the dream vs. reality motif really lends itself to the fantasy genre.
What about everybody else? What songs get your ideas flowing? Is there one song with a particular story you’d just love to tell?