Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Rebecca Williamson Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 7/8/2024
  • Sheila Fernley Agent Spotlight Interview, Critique Giveaway, and One-Hour Zoom Call on 7/29/2024
  • Erica McGrath Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 8/12/2024

Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated through the letter "K" as of 3/28/2024 and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for more information as I find the time to update more agent spotlights.

Tip Tuesday #45

Tip Tuesday is a recurring feature where readers send in tips for fellow writers. If you'd like to share a tip, please do so. I'm running low! Today's tip comes from the lovely Ammie Hart (who shared a tip a couple weeks ago). Enjoy!


So there you are, working on your manuscript, and you hit the good ol' road block in your writing. You know where the book needs to go, you see it in your head, you know how you want the scene to play out, yet, everytime you go to type it up, it's DEAD. Nothing. Nada. The words will just. not. come. Ugggggh... Don't you hate when that happens? Here's a tip to get your fingers moving across that keyboard and make those juicy scenes come ALIVE on that screen! Make a playlist for your book. That's right. Make a happy ol' playlist that will have some music to inspire the writing. Is your main character struggling with an issue they need to overcome? How about a little Matt Kearney or Patti Griffith? The folksy drama inspiring tunes can't do anything but help. Is your MC a scheming, horrible, plotting type that has a kickass attitude? How about a little Metallica to set the scene? Or Rage Against the Machine? Or Smashing Pumpkins? You get the idea.

I tend to make a manuscript playlist that I know will inspire the scenes and dialogue for those particular characters. Here are some of the tracks playing on my current upper MG about a boy who is learning to accept the fact that all the other families who he thought were normal are just like his--imperfect. Hope some of these songs help inspire some of your work! Happy writing!

"Razor" by the Foo Fighters
"There Goes the Fear" by the Doves
"Full Moon" by The Black Ghosts
"Remember Me as A Time of Day" by Explosions in The Sky (no lyrics, just great tunes)
"Blackbird" performed by Sarah McLachlan
"All I Want to Do" by Sugarland
"Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol
"Whir" by Smashing Pumpkins

Ammie, I love this tip. And the beauty of it is that even writers who can't listen to music while they write can make a playlist to listen to when they're not writing. There's something really special and inspiring about finding the right song for a character or scene. I definitely recommend this!


Jamie Manning said...

Excellent tip! And I do just what you said at the bottom...I listen when I'm *not* writing. I have over an hour commute to work, so I listen to some angsty, dark music during my round trip each day to put my brain into "think mode"...it works great!

Martina Boone said...

Love this idea! I agree with you Casey- it's a terrific excuse to put on some tunes when you're in the throes of writing. Very creative!

Martina Boone said...

Love this idea! I agree with you Casey- it's a terrific excuse to put on some tunes when you're in the throes of writing. Very creative!

Travis Erwin said...

I agree tunes are a must.

Alleged Author said...

That is a great idea! I'm off to make my playlist now because my MC is full of angst right now and getting on my nerves.

Lisa Nowak said...

Great tip! My only problem is that I get sucked into the writing and forget to get up and change or restart the CD. ;)


From what I know, this is how Stephanie Meyer made it through her Twilight series.

I gather up images, collage style to re-tell my story back to me by visual notes. I could add a soundtrack.


Bridget said...

I have different Pandora radio stations set up for my projects :)

Ammie said...

Hey everyone-Thanks for great feedback on the tip and thanks again to Casey for featuring my tip. I am such a sucker for slow angst inspiring music, so please feel free to share your dark angsty playlist songs with us! If you have not tried her, take a peek at Patty Griffith's "You Are Not Alone." Your heart is gonna bleed. Also try Kate Bush's "This Woman's Work" and The Sundays remake of "Wild Horses." Definitely will inspire some writing! Happy writing everyone!

Janet Johnson said...

Great tip. Music is amazingly inspiring. So why haven't I ever tried this? Hmmm . . .

Sara {Rhapsody and Chaos} said...

I can write without music, but I REALLY prefer to write with it. Tunes help the words flow WAY better for me! I have about a million and a half playlists for writing. (Well, on my old computer I did anyway--on my newer one I'm still building them.)

I have mood music, when I just want to let the words flow. I also have playlists for some of my MCs, based on the music THEY would listen to, which is really helpful if I get stuck on a scene they're in! (One of my CPs gave me that advice, and it really works.) And I also have "type of scene" playlists... Romantic scenes, fight scenes, depressing scenes, etc.

Awesome tip for Tuesday =)

Matthew MacNish said...

Music is so powerfully connected to emotion and emotion to writing! This is great advice, thanks Casey and Ammie.

Carolyn V. said...

I love being inspired by song. That's how I finished my last wip. =)

Jessie Harrell said...

I'm a huge fan of the playlist! I've got one in progress for the current WIP and a complete one for the completed book. The Oasis for YA ladies shared their top playlist songs on their blog today. Seems lots of authors have music on the brain this week. :)

Carolyn said...

I just had a lightbulb moment!

I used to write to music, then somewhere along the way it stopped working and became an inhibitor, not a helper.

I was sad to leave my playlist behind.

But then Casey pointed out the obvious. I can still make a playlist. Just listen to it while I'm NOT writing.

SO SIMPLE. And yet, I am so excited to make a playlist again! Hee.

Unknown said...

Blackbird is probably my favorite song of all time (ties with "When I was 17" by Sinatra). It's also Taylor's favorite song (my MC). I actually named my first "part" of my novel "Blackbird." She plays the song during that section, but I always thought it described her well too. She's the "blackbird in the dead of night" that "spreads her broken wings and learns to fly." Very, very fitting to her character. So kudos not only on a great tip, but also on picking a good song for your list (even if you had McLachlan sing it. She does a great job and all, but you gotta love the original).

Beth said...

Great tip, and I should do this more often. Bach works great for me when I'm in the exploratory stages of a new work. And when I had to get into the mind of my protagonist's young single mom, I imagined her playlist and listened to it over and over again. Thanks, Ammie!

Lisa Nowak said...

Ammie, for dark, angsty songs I like Gravedigger by Dave Matthews and Mad World by Gary Jules.

Heather Kelly said...

I wouldn't get through a MS without my trusty soundtrack. I just added a song to it this morning--Fireflies by Owl City (Okay, I write MG!)

woo-hoo for soundtracks.