Helpful Writing Stimuli

I am learning to play different kinds of music depending on what book chapter I’m writing: Rachmaninoff’s All Night Vigil and Prelude#1 and Brahms Nocturne in g minor are effective listening for war scenes. When I listen to 1930s and 1940s Great Vocal Big Bands, I envision happy occasions. Narrow Stairs from Death Cab for Cutie works with imminent danger. Love scenes flow with anything Phil Collins. When Musa, one of the main characters, shows her temper, heavy metal does wonders for dialogue tempo. Playful moments invite Katy Perry’s exuberance. Most beneficial is that my muse shows up faster using different music.

Another device is the use of lighting. Ambient lighting versus full spectrum light changes moods. I might write with candle light for a particular part of the book. Perhaps you relish certain aromas when writing. Marcel Proust wrote conceptually of smells evoking memory in Remembrances of Things Past. If I can keep from being distracted or from eating, I’d bake cookies and let their scent support a dinner scene. Scented candles work well, too.

Pick an emotion and find music or lighting or scents for stimulating creative juices. It’s an enjoyable way to break through a writing fog.

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