Tuesday, April 23, 2013


As a writer, the one thing I always strive to do is immerse my reader in my world. One thing that fills me with pride is the feedback I receive from readers who tell me that at times they become emotionally attached to the characters or that they feel part of the world in which they are reading. I attribute this to one thing; feeling part of that world myself as I am writing. To do this I have a tool which I use to help me get there, and that tool is music.
     If anyone has read my previous blog, you’ll probably know how un-conventional I am as a writer. I don’t plot a basic story before I begin writing, I just know what will happen at the end and work towards it from there. When I do arrive at an emotional, high charged scene that I want to create, I look to music for inspiration. I research what type of emotion I want my characters in that scene to feel and hit the internet to research. Each writer will be looking for something different in musical styles, but I always look for orchestral scores. When I write, I see what unfolds within my mind’s eye. A lot of writers see their story as a movie as they create their work, and usually a movie has an accompanying soundtrack.
     Over the years I have been writing, my own CD collection has changed from one of rock to one of orchestra, so much so that last year I only purchased one CD that wasn’t presided over by a conductor. Scores are created for one purpose, and that is to generate emotion. If you watch a movie with a sad ending, usually it’s not the acting that makes you become emotional, it’s the music.
     When I started writing I wanted to feel that emotion and pour it in to my work. I wanted the reader to feel that situation unfold and become immersed in what was happening. What I have always done is to listen to the music whilst creating the scene within my mind, that way I can visualize that scene with a soundtrack and let my mind run with the music. This way when I come to write I can feel the senses of terror or jubilation, or the threat of war and conflict.
     Various video sharing websites hold countless entries for music. Have a browse on them and see what you can find. Write the emotion you want and ‘scores’ afterwards. See if it works for you.

Alan Keen


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

The sound track for my novels runs though my own head. Probably at my age it holds more variety than that of a younger person.