A novel playlist is the perfect writing resource to help inspire you while you’re writing. A quick search on Tumblr, YouTube or Spotify and you’ll find hundreds of playlists on offer in a wide variety. There’s classical music, movie soundtracks, quiet and peaceful playlists, epic fantasy soundtracks and so much more. So, over the past few week’s I have been trying to hunt down some great writing playlists to recommend, but I found myself slightly overwhelmed by all the options, and quite underwhelmed at finding a single playlist that I liked wholeheartedly. I kept going back to the writing playlist I had made for myself.
Qualities of a Good Writing Playlist
I think the reason why a playlist of my own making was so much more appealing came from the fact that it was made with my storyline and characters in mind. So while any writing playlist you find online might have some good songs in it, none will fit your tastes, characters, or plot as perfectly as the one you make for yourself. But how exactly do you go about finding new songs to populate your book’s soundtrack? If you fill it with songs you already know then you’ll probably end up more distracted then fully drawn into your fictional world. But, never fear we have a few tips that will get you writing in no time!
How to Make Your Own Novel Playlist
Getting recommendations is a great way of finding songs for your soundtrack. There are several sources to get them from, some of which you may not have heard of.
-Friends with similar tastes. talking with friends who have a similar taste in music to you is a great source for songs. It helps even more if they’re also a writer. Example: one of my writing friends got me onto Dorothy who is perfect for bad-ass fighting scenes.
-Writing YouTubers who have their own writing playlists. Example: Christine Ricco aka PolandbananasBOOKS who has a book writing series on her channel. With each episode, she plays a song from her personal novel soundtrack, the latest recommendation was this song:
-Recommended For You videos (YouTube). If you’ve found a couple songs you like already and have watched them on YouTube, check out the list of videos underneath or to the side of whatever you’re watching. YouTube might just recommend you the perfect song for your next scene.
-Song/Playlist radios (Spotify). I came across this feature on Spotify accidentally. If you’re playing a song/playlist/artist whatever on Spotify but don’t loop it, once the song/playlist/artist whatever ends, Spotify will start playing similar songs. I have found so many new songs this way. Including this one (which reminds me of this beautiful cover of ‘Somewhere only we know‘):
Television and Movie Soundtracks
Television and movie soundtracks are a fantastic source for songs for your novel playlist. These songs can be perfect background music or emotionally stirring, but you’re bound to find something that fits perfectly the next time you engage with your favourite shows and movies! So download Shazam and start collecting. Examples:
-Teen Wolf: Who are you, really?
-Thor: Immigrant Song
-Westworld: Paint it Black
-Outlander: Dance of the Druids
Plus anything from Harry Potter or the LoTR’s/The Hobbit is always great.
Lastly, you can, of course, check out pre-existing playlists for inspiration. You’ll find plenty of songs to collect as you build your own perfect playlist. So, here are a few I found plus my own playlist if you’re interested!
-Lin Manuel Miranda’s writing playlist: Write Your Way Out
-Writing Playlist by MJane.x
-Writing Playlist – Epic Fantasty
-Relaxing / Writing Playlist
-Writing Playlist (Villian)
-My writing playlist :)
So, what is your favourite way of collating your novel playlist? Have you been using yours this NaNoWriMo?