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5 Ways to Use Sound When Writing

5 Ways to Use Sound When Writing

Sound is one of the most powerful ways to get into a scene, and when utilized can help your writing flow easier. Below are my favorite tips for using sound to kick you into writing mode (from least to most obvious).

White Noise

5. Make the sounds of your scene on your computer.

Credit for this idea goes to friend/classmate Annie (who is awesome).

With an app like White Noise, you can actually create the sound of your scene. Characters are walking near a harbor? No problem. Character’s are sitting by a fire? You got it. Place yourself in the center of that scene and use the sounds to help you become fully immersed.

Theme song

4. Get a theme song.

Pick one song that really gets your blood pumping. While I was drafting Blessings, Lie to Me was that song. The song you select doesn’t have to be strictly about the story (though of course that’s a plus), but it should be something upbeat.

Every time I sat down to write Blessings, I would play this song. Like a well trained dog, eventually when I was procrastinating all I had to do was switch this song on and I was itching to work. (Heck, I am playing the song while I write this and suddenly I have the urge to go do revisions.) Easy way to get yourself in the writing mood fast.


3. Coffitivity.

If you’re like me, you love writing out of the house—at a coffee shop or a pub or a library. But unfortunately sometimes the weather is terrible, or you don’t want to spend a few bucks on a drink, or you just can’t be bothered to put on real clothes. That’s where Coffivity comes in! With a variety of sounds to choose from (I love Morning Murmur myself), this website gives you the quiet bustle of busy wherever you’re at!


2. Movie or mood soundtracks.

I told you I was going to get obvious. Soundtracks can make a scene come together. Your thief is running around rooftops? Give him some Sherlock Holmes. Your heroine is contemplating something? Sounds like Pride and Prejudice. Your main characters find themselves confronted with death and creepy elves? Look not further than Secret of Kells.

You can also find some excellent instrumental playlists over at 8tracks. (I have a whole category for writing and mood music.)

If you believe in overkill (I do) you can even make your own soundtrack. Think about the sound of your book and go rob borrow tracks from various soundtracks. Put them together and make your own playlist!

Speaking of…


1. Make a playlist.

The most obvious of them all, but still so relevant. Collect songs that sound like your story or have lyrics that make you hit repeat again and again. Put them on a playlist and listen to it when you’re writing, walking, on the bus, in the car, riding your dragon, or saving kittens. A lot of ideas and reveals will flow out of the music as you listen, trust me.

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