People often ask, “How do you get motivated to write a specific scene?” the short answer is, I do whatever I have to in order to prep my mind for whatever scene I’m writing. The long answer, however, is a bit more complicated. How I prepare for a big scene mostly depends on what I’m writing about. For example, if I’m working on a big battle scene and want to make sure it feels authentic for the style of fighting my characters use, I’ll watch movies or read about various fighting styles to make sure I’m documenting their moves correctly. (You wouldn’t want a character using tae kwon do to suddenly pull bows and arrows out of her bag and act like an archer! Unless, of course, she was just that awesome and had already been trained in both.)
The biggest factor that influences my writing and really sets the tone for each major scene is my music playlist. First, I’ll think about the kind of scene I’m writing and what I need to convey. Is there a lot of angst or tension among the main characters in that scene? If so, I’ll pull up some music that uses those same qualities to help get me in the right mood. Some of my favorite soundtracks to write to are Tron: Legacy, anything by Hans Zimmer, the Harry Potter tracks, and more. You can also bet that no matter what scene I’m writing, I’ll also include some Mumford & Sons and The Civil Wars. (Love those guys!) Once in a while, I’ll even be known to listen to a specific type of music all day to make sure that I’m ready to go as soon as it’s time to write.
I’ve always believed that music is a strong factor in our lives, no matter what we’re doing. It can lift our spirits, bring us to tears, make us laugh, and even help us study. If you’re looking for ways to help set the scene for your own writing, I recommend making a writing playlist to help set the tone for your scene or story. You may find that it’s just the inspiration you need!