What Do You Listen To?

I’ve been asked by a few people what’s on my play list when I’m writing. The answer to that is it all depends on what I’m writing and where I’m at in the process. If I’m working on a rough draft, I want something that I can type in rhythm with. Usually that’s my favorite collection of heavy, hard rocking classics: stuff from Sammy Hagar, Def Leopard, Led Zepplin, Aerosmith, and AC/DC. I’ve tried to listen to my favorite movie soundtracks and learned rather quickly listening to that had me starting to envision the movie rather than writing. Movie soundtracks=bad for a rough draft.
If I’m fleshing out the rough draft, I try to create a play list that fits the work. For the novel I just signed a contract for, which I wrote last November for NaNoWriMo, I listened to a play list that incorporated a lot of the music from the musical The Civil War and Civil War era pieces. I can sing the whole of “Bonnie Blue Flag” now. (But, don’t ask me to sing, because I can’t carry a tune in a bucket.) Come to think of it, that was the play list while I was writing that novel last November, too.
If I’m eye-ball deep in editing, I can go with the movie soundtracks. Eye-ball deep in edits usually means it’s very close work and I have to pay extreme attention to what I’m doing, so the sound tracks become background noise. While doing the edits for the second romance novel, however, I found that I couldn’t get into the time period or the character’s heads, so I put the Civil War play list on. Viola! Once more, I was back in the late 1870s, chugging across the country in a railroad car pulled by a steam engine.
However, if I’m listening to the soundtrack to one of my favorite movies (whatever that movie happens to be), I can’t listen to that soundtrack and work. It’s that simple. I listen to the soundtrack and decide, “The heck with it. I’m going to watch THAT movie.” Kind of like right now. I’m listening to the soundtrack from newest favorite movie and thinking I really want to watch that movie again. We won’t mention how often I’ve watched my latest favorite movie in the past five days, but let’s just say that’s it been enough to memorize some of the best lines. (I’m seeing registered names for a few of my show collies coming out of this movie, too.)
Anyway, to answer the question about what I listen to while writing, it all depends on where I’m at in the writing stage, if I can get back into the character’s heads for edits, and what stage of the editing. Now, I’m going to watch a movie.

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