Every writer has their own methodology to the craft, however scientific, unscientific or completely crazy that methodology might be. Part of my writing methodology involves music, since I have found music to be one of my writing muses. This holds true both for when I am writing a story as well as when I am writing an article for a magazine or content for a business' website. In fact, I am listening to music as I write this blog post.
The kind of music I listen to when I am writing greatly depends on what I am writing and my overall mood. If my ADD brain is trying to pull me in 18 different directions at once (and my wife knows I am not exaggerating when I say this, because my brain has a tendency to do this) I will listen to something calming like Enya or one of the many stress relief CDs I have collected. If I am feeling tired, I will usually listen to a fast-paced electronica album or some heavy metal since that gets my heart pounding. I could go on, but I think you get the general idea.
When I am writing a book or one of my stories, I do a funny thing I am not sure is done by any other writers. I actually create a soundtrack or a playlist of songs on iTunes for the book or story. Sometimes I make a soundtrack, while other times I create both a soundtrack and a score. I listen to different parts of the soundtrack or score as I write different parts of the story, since the music has the general feel I want to create for the story. I am a very visual writer, or in other words I see the story playing out like a movie in my mind and then I "transcribe" the action to write the book. The music helps keep the scene playing in my head.
For example, when I wrote Shadow House I was looking to create an overall scary and discomforting feeling for the reader, but one that built up over time instead of hitting the reader like a ton of bricks. I listened to this track (along with others like it) over and over as I wrote and edited the book:
The Devil's Nightmare, my next book, is different in a lot of ways, and so I have crafted different types of playlists to listen to as I work on the book. To share with you the feel of the book, here are a couple of tracks from those playlists: