Music Inspirations – part 4

Music InspirationsIt’s been a while since I’ve shared my music inspirations with you (feel free to check previous posts). Not because I haven’t found new inspiring music, but because I have a habit of putting a song in a loop while I write, usually picking the one that fits my mood, not the scene I’m working on. It’s useful in a way, as I can recycle songs for many scenes and stories, but I don’t associate them with a particular scene or project anymore. Except for the few ones that you’ll find below.

And if you’re curious what music gets my words written down, you can always check my Spotify playlist with my writing music.

Roxette – Listen To Your Heart

I remember that autumn month, grumpy and dark. I was stuck and couldn’t write for some reason. I had great ideas, I had motivation and some time, but when I sat down to write, no magic happened. Well, not even words, magical or not, happened. My partner told me to try to relax and write anything, without a plan (yes, he actually advised something that in my world is close to a blasphemy – come on, “no plan”?!), just to get going, but I kept staring at the empty page while I browsed YouTube for some nostalgic songs from my youth. This is how I came across Roxette, and somewhere between the first tunes and the first lines of lyrics Mayven was born.

Mayven is not a shaman of her tribe, but she speaks with spirits and one night, out of desperation, she makes a deal with a spirit to save her friend’s life.

Sadly, as much as I like this story, it’s still that novel I’m not writing. But I will, one day I will.

Peter Crowley – Escaping the Kraken

Mayven was not the only character in that story, and it soon became clear I needed some other music, as the nostalgic ballad by Roxette didn’t go well with the action-filled scenes. “Escaping the Kraken” seemed to fit the bill whenever Kellan entered the scene: a confident scout and a hunter specializing in killing misguided shamans and spirits alike. Kellan’s confidence causes him to be sarcastic at times, and also makes it hard to resist a challenge even when common sense tells him to avoid it, though he’s far from charging thoughtlessly to his death. Mayven’s spirit doesn’t like his attitude a bit, and one can count on them ending up in a fight.

Melodysheep – Slumber Kindgom

Some time ago I confessed that I wrote a fantasy romance novella for fun (and to keep my daily worcount for the 365k Club), and to get myself in the right mood I put this song in a loop. It seemed to fit a story of a meager alchemist who catches an eye of a wealthy and spoiled nobleman… and the king’s spymaster.

London Philharmonic Orchestra – Halo: Never Forget/Peril

Game soundtracks are my favorites when it comes to my writing playlist. They have enough epicness and energy to keep me going, and they lack the lyrics that would distract me. I never played Halo, but Spotify suggested this album by London Philharmonic Orcherstra and Never Forget/Peril medley quickly made it into my top tracks. I often had it playing in a loop when I was writing “By His Will” and the orcherstra rendition of the those tracks always made me think it’s perfect for a light-hearted adventure fantasy I was writing.

These songs inspired me one way or the other, sometimes by giving me an idea for a story or a scene, sometimes by fueling the words already flowing.

And what inspires you? Do you have a song that you strongly associate with some project you are or were working on?

Joanna Maciejewska

Joanna Maciejewska is a fantasy and science fiction author who enjoys all things SFF: books, movies, and video games. Her short stories appeared in magazines and anthologies in Polish and in English. Her epic fantasy adventure series, starting with By the Pact, is available in ebook and paperback at all major retailers.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. sjhigbee

    Thank you for sharing these with us, Joanne – an interesting mix. I have absolutely fallen in love with Halo: Never Forget, what a beautiful melody – next time I’m on song-buying, I’m adding it to my list! The Roxette song reminds me of a particularly grim time in my life – there’s a swathe of songs I avoid from a particular era and that falls into that slice of time…

    I also find music very important to my writing. The song ‘Samson’ by Regina Spektor more or less inspired the opening chapters of ‘Running Out of Space’, which has now grown into The Sunblinded trilogy and when writing the storm scene in ‘Miranda’s Tempest’ I was playing ‘Dead in the Water’ by Ellie Goulding on a loop.

    1. melfka

      I’m glad you’ve found something for yourself here, Sarah :).
      If you shop for the song, make sure you get the version by London Philharmonic Orchestra – the original is actually two songs, “Never Forget” and “Peril” and without the orchestra: it didn’t sound that well in my opinion.
      And I can relate to some songs bringing unwanted memories. I have at least several songs that I really like, but they carry me back to the moments I’d rather forget. Or store somewhere deep in my head.
      I’ll have a look at the songs you mentioned, maybe I’ll find some inspiration myself. 🙂

      1. sjhigbee

        Do let me know if you find them helpful – and once again, thank you!

  2. portiabridget

    Oh Roxette…I’ve never been a huge fan of their songs but I do understand your inspiration!
    Classical music works the best for me but I also love Philip Glass (Koyanisquaatsi anyone?) and Electric Light Orchestra.

    1. melfka

      I’m not a huge fan, but I was browsing through my musical childhood and this song fitted my mood. Who am I to complain about getting world building ideas and story ideas? 😉
      I’ll check your music too, my writing playlist always needs new songs. 🙂

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