Writing An Emotional Scene

When I started writing, I needed complete silence. I would get up at 4 a.m. and lock myself in a room where noise and distraction couldn't find me.

Then I started hearing other writers talk about their music playlists and which songs inspired specific scenes in their manuscripts.

So I decided to try it. It was the middle of the day and all three of my kids were home. They were running around and laughing and being kids, which is about as far from quiet as I could have possibly been. I figured it would be a great time to throw on some headphones and try to write while listening to music.

I was going to be writing a scene that I wanted to be intense and emotional, so I tried to match the music I would be listening to with the scene I would be writing. I chose Paramore.

I really didn't think that listening to music while writing would make a difference. I was mostly just hoping to block out the kid noise, but what happened was so much more!

The intensity of the music I was listening to carried over into my writing. The emotion I felt from those electric guitars and that pounding beat flowed through to my fingers as I typed.

I don't always write with music. But I've found that when I get to a specific scene and I'm struggling to get the emotional words that I'm looking for, a little music does the trick.

Try it! Music prompts are fun writing exercises that will draw words out of your soul. Determine what type of scene you want to write, ask yourself what emotions you want the reader to feel, then find a song that make you feel those emotions. Listen to it while you write the scene!

You can use this when you hit a wall in your manuscript, or you can use it as a writing exercise.

Happy Writing!


When I had a long commute to work (1 hour +) I used to listen to all kinds of music. The music inspired so many scenes in my mind - it was wonderful. Although I'm familiar with playlists - I forgot about using music to inspire my writing. It is a wonderful tool. Thanks for the reminder, Aaron!

Great idea, I have painted to music, but never have written, I too need quiet. I will try it!

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