Does your writing have a sound track?
When you write, can you hear music in your head that matches the scene you’re writing? Frankly, I’d be suprised if you don’t. Maybe when you hit a stumbling block or a “tough scene”, the music fades away, but when things are rolling along, if you pay attention, I’ll bet there’s music up there. In a way, it’s almost inevitable, given how pervasive movies are in our culture. I know, for me, when I’m writing an action scene, I always hear music that matches the scene. And, what’s more, that musical score is influenced by movies that I’ve seen recently. For the longest time after seeing the Professional for the first time, every fight scene I saw in my mind’s eye was set to ethereal opera. And, then, after seeing some other movie, it was smooth jazz that provided the counter-point for all the action.
And, sometimes, when I need to capture a certain feel in my writing, I’ll put on a particular kind of music. Sometimes it’s quick, sometimes slow, but almost always it’s different from how I’m feeling when I try to write and can’t quite get it. In my case, I know that music really effects my work because of my love for movies. Often, I’m trying to capture something with words that I can see in my head as clearly as if I’d seen it on a movie screen. One of the highest compliments I ever recieved was in writing class when the teacher told me that I had a very cinematic style of writing. (Though, in retrospect, I’m not sure he meant it as a compliment.)
So, here are three creativity exercises to try:
First, randomly pick a piece of music, play it and try to write what you feel when you listen to the music.
Second, pull out a story or scene that has given you trouble in the past. Now, put on some music, or different music than what you normally play while writing, and try to rework the piece with the different music setting the tone.
Third, as you write, or plan, your story, plan what music should be playing if someone were to make the story into a movie. Write, or rewrite, with that in mind.
But, most of all, keep writing!