I remember seeing an interview with George Lucas before he went nuts and Peter Jackson’ed all of his best films (I say that with the highest regard for Tolkien and the lowest regard for the anti-Tolkien usually called “Peter Jackson” – that’s a whole ‘nother SERIES of blog posts). He mentioned that when he was writing various scenes in the original Star Wars, he was listening to certain pieces of music that set the tone for the scenes in question.
I don’t do that.
What I have done, however, is identify certain scenes (after they are envisioned or written) with a particular piece of music (pop music for the most part). For example, the theme of the vergrinn in many of their scenes naturally pops into my head as Duran Duran singing “Hungry like the Wolf.” The beginning of Book One, Chapter Seven brings to mind a song by Information Society: “I can’t slow down”
This also works in reverse. Whenever I hear certain songs on the radio, they bring to mind certain scenes I have written. Whenever I hear “You don’t know you’re beautiful” on the radio, it instantly reminds me of the introduction of the character Aesa in Book Two and the influence she has on the characters and story. When I hear the song “I won’t give up on us” it reminds me of a scene that has not yet been written which will appear near the end of Book Three. (yes, the scene is that sad and hopeful). In a movie, the scene would be two characters looking off into the distance from their respective locations, but in the book it will likely be two separate scenes.
A couple of the songs that are associated with scenes are hymns. The scene where Amundr et al return to the bridge in Book One makes me think of “O They Tell Me of a Home” (or occasionally “Above the Bright Blue”).
When you are writing, does your writing make you think of songs? Do certain songs inspire you as you write?