Music for All Your NaNoWriMo Needs
What every aspiring writer needs—aside from constant snacks, caffeine, a warm blanket, your special writing pants, a cat within reach, motivation, and a fancy feather quill for reasons and purposes—is music. Film scores in particular force you out of this world, in which you are having a really lame pretend sword fight with your cat using a feather quill, and into another, in which you are having an actual sword fight with dragons on a pirate ship that JUST BECAME SELF-AWARE. (I hope somebody's writing that.)
But it's hard finding that one specific score that goes along perfectly with your scene. You don't have time! You're writing a 50,000-word novel, for Pete's sake! (Well, theoretically. So far most of it is the result of your cat sitting on the keyboard, but that probably counts. He's really good at foreshadowing.) Fear not, however, because here's a little taste of what's out there, categorized for your writing pleasure:
Happy Scenes—music for that happy ending where your characters skip off into the sunset... or for that point in the story where life seems good and everyone's super happy right before a war erupts and it's nothing but misery and tears from here on out, you heartless psychopath.
Your Hand in Mine - Explosions in the Sky
We Could Go Home - The Hunger Games: Original Motion Picture Score
There's No Place Like Home - Lost: Season 4 (Original Television Soundtrack)
Kiss the Rain - Yiruma
The Secret Life of Daydreams - Pride & Prejudice (Music from the Motion Picture)
Final Hope - Audiomachine
Bittersweet Scenes—for those moments that make you want to smile but also cry really unattractive, blubbery tears in a terrible, wonderful medley of conflicting emotions.
The Life and Death of Amy Pond - Doctor Who: Original Television Soundtrack (Series 5)
Illuminati - Audiomachine
Light at the End of the Tunnel - Kerry Muzzey
Moving On - Lost: The Final Season (Original Television Soundtrack)
TwentyTwoFourteen - The Album Leaf
Hand Covers Bruise - The Social Network (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)
Leaving Hogwarts - John Williams (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone)
Sad Scenes—for those scenes where your soul is just kind of collapsing in on itself because you're really raining the pain on your characters. THEY DIDN'T ASK FOR THIS.
Rue's Farewell - The Hunger Games (Original Motion Picture Score)
Sacrifice - Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Score
Locke'ing Horns - Lost: Season 4 (Original Television Soundtrack)
It All Runs Together - Marley & Me (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Epilogue (relief) - Apocalyptica
Chase Scenes—because there's nothing like a really sweet chase scene, be it on foot, in a car, by camel, whatever. (I hope someone's writing that.)
Mombasa Suite - Inception: Music from the Motion Picture
Guns of the Patriots - Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Original Soundtrack
Run Like, Um... Hell - Lost: Season 1 (Original Television Soundtrack)
Miscellaneous Action Scenes—it's harder to convey an action scene in writing than it is in movies. So listen to these and paint a word-picture of unapologetic BUTT-KICKING.
A Wasp On Her Abdomen - Chas Smith
Brain Mismatch - Audiomachine
I Don't Think Now Is the Best Time - Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)
Agent of Chaos - The Dark Knight (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
The Battle - The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Soundtrack)
Trinity - James Dooley
Forging a New Light - Danny Cocke
Scenes with Plot Twists—for when life seems like rainbows and daisies for your characters and then all of a sudden everything goes horribly wrong... or, conversely, for when it seems like all is lost and then everything goes awesomely right.
Greet Death - Explosions in the Sky
Life & Death - Lost: Season 1 (Original Television Soundtrack)
The Claw - Toy Story 3 (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)
Orphan Black Finale Theme - Trevor Yuile
Tears of Life - Pokemon: The First Movie (Soundtrack) (Note: YOU ALL CRIED AT THIS PART! YOU KNOW YOU DID!)
Scenes That Are Just Epic—for scenes that simply defy description, because it's starting to get real up in your story.
Time - Inception: Music from the Motion Picture
Courtyard Apocalypse - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (Soundtrack)
Gravity - Steven Price (from the Gravity Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Prologue and Birth - Audiomachine
So now you've got your music, you've got your laptop, you've probably cloistered yourself in a dark room filled with the blankets, snacks, and special writing pants—what are you still doing here? Procrastinating? Get back out there! Make with the world-building! Go, go, go!
THIS IS THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF WRITING MUSIC WE'VE EVER SEEN. What do you listen to while you write?