Not Your Nano day 13 – Soundtracking and Playlists


Here’s a novel way to put together a novel. (sorrynotsorry ) It’s not one I’ve done myself (though I have written books that seem to go hand in hand with a soundtrack) but I know enough writers who do this that I’m going to include it because hey, if it sparks, it sparks.

I spoke to contemporary YA author Hannah Moskowitz to ask her a little about the whys of working by mapping out her story with a playlist first, and this was her reply:

for me it helps me figure out the pacing of the story. seeing where there are a bunch of slow songs in a row makes me realize okay, something probably needs to happen in this space, or seeing that i have a bunch of songs focused on one or two characters in a row makes me realize i’m probably neglecting some of the other characters in that section. it’s just a good way to see–hear?–how the story progression works on a mechanical level

Gottta say, I found the idea of pacing a story via speed of the songs really an interesting insight – something I’d never thought of.


Do you have ways of mapping out your story that might be considered unusual? Tell me about them – I find the different processes we have a fascinating look into the artistic mind.


And don’t forget your 100 words even though it’sa Saturday and you probably just wanna lie around playing Skyrim (oh wait, that’s me :P)


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One Reply to “Not Your Nano day 13 – Soundtracking and Playlists”

  1. To me, the novel soundtrack serves many purposes. At first it’s inspiration while I build the initial idea, the characters, and the plot. Then it’s an outline, reminding me of scenes I want to include or emotions I want to evoke with the writing. If I leave the novel behind for a while, one of the novel’s songs can excite me about it again. That includes songs that I had already used in the soundtrack or songs that I hadn’t but that I recognize immediately as belonging to the novel. Once the novel (and therefore soundtrack) is complete, the soundtrack can keep me enthusiastic about the novel while I edit, or help me relive moments in the novel long after I’m done working on it.

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