I am sure all the writers out there have different ways for finding inspiration. It isn’t a one size fits all type of thing. For me, I often use headphones and music to help me get in the mood. For action scenes I often use tunes that are taken from soundtracks. These soundtracks are often movies, but also video games or even television shows. Defiance has an amazing score that I can listen to looped. Bear McCreary also did the soundtrack for the Battlestar Galactica Reboot, and I just love how he uses instrumentation with synth type sounds. It just says, “this is sci-fi, buckle your seats.” Defiance Soundtrack.
If I want a more fantasy style drama, anything Lord of the Rings will do. Or Enya, or Yanni, or anything by Yasunori Mitsuda, the composer responsible for the unforgettable and unbelievably amazing ChronoCross score. For those that are not into video games, or older video games, ChronoCross was a game for the Playstation, a Sony console that came out around the same time as the Nintendo 64. This was the system that launched Sony into gaming and finally gave Nintendo some competition other than Sega.
Mitsuda often mixes almost Celtic style sounds with American Indian, mixed with Japanese and a hint of new age. And it works. Amazingly well. So well, you can still get the soundtrack even though the game itself is not that popular, plus it is like twenty years old or more now. For those that may be curious : Chrono Cross OST
There are a few orchestral versions out there as well, that are very well done. Video Games Live put out a Through Time and Space compilation that has a beautiful version of Scars of Time, one of the defining songs of the game. Of course, Final Fantasy also has a ton of amazing music that I listen to as well, especially orchestral versions of FF7 and older. I just prefer the oldies. But Chronocross has a special place in my heart perhaps because it is a little more obscure. Video Games Live Scars of Time.
Now, if I want something like a tragic love scene, I listen to everything from Adele, to the Carpenters. I have a sad love song playlist just for this. And, a happy love song list, and a dramatic list, and a more action like list. The headphones also help block out the distractions of the television, the cat and whatever else may be going on. It kinda makes me focus and set aside time that is undivided and just for writing which I find useful.
How do you get inspired? What helps kick start your writing? Do you believe something or someone can be your muse? I have been inspired by people more than once, sometimes they don’t even know they actually inspired me. Actually, that is usually the case.
Overhearing bits and pieces of conversations at coffee shops or in the laundromat is why I love writing in public spaces. But sometimes, a certain person will inspire me more than most. That is my muse, and the music of course always helps. I find I am most inspired when I get inspired by people and the music and life experiences. It all helps. I would say not one person or thing is my muse, but the collective environment around me is usually my muse.