Top 5 Songs to Fuel Emotional Scenes

I’m not sure if all writers rely on music for added inspiration before, during, or after specific types of scenes, but I do. When I’m going to write a dark scene with graphic violence or heated dialogue, I’ll listen to bands like KoЯn, Seether or Disturbed. On the flip side, when I’m writing an emotional scene, one filled with inner turmoil, self-reflection, or no-turning-back decisions, the most played artists in my iTunes account include Linkin Park, Band of Horses, Blue Foundation, Ray Lamontagne, and Damien Rice, to name just a handful.

I’ve handpicked the top five songs to inspire writing in heavy emotional scenes and/or scenes primarily centered around a character, his thoughts and actions, and how his world and others will be affected by them. These songs evoke specific emotions from me that filter down through my muse into my words. Sometimes the lyrics are the key; sometimes it’s a mixture of the singer’s voice, the melody, and the mood.

Eyes on Fire by Blue Foundation

You’ve probably heard Eyes on Fire before – it was featured in Twilight (2008) – but didn’t know what it was called or who it was by. I play this song most often during scenes between two characters who have some sort of attraction for each other yet cannot consummate their desires.


No One’s Gonna Love You by Band of Horses

I’m slightly infatuated with Band of Horses. From the first time I heard The Funeral, I was hooked. A few weeks ago, I posted another song by them, I Go To The Barn Because I Like. But my favorite song, by far, is No One’s Gonna Love You. The lyrics, the music and Ben Bridwell’s vocals: perfection, or pretty damn close.


9 Crimes by Damien Rice

If you watched the movie Closer (2004), you heard Damien Rice’s The Blower’s Daughter, which is quite a sad, romantic song in itself. However, the one I listen to most for scenes with serious emotional decisions or consequences is 9 Crimes.


If You Go Away by Emiliana Torrini

I first heard If You Go Away when I watched the movie Pumpkin (2002). The lyrics are sad. The melody is equally gut-wrenching. However, it’s Emiliana Torrini’s haunting voice that makes the song almost overwhelming from an emotional viewpoint. Let me put it like this: If you’ve ever loved and lost, If You Go Away will tug (hard) at your heartstrings.


Trouble by Ray LaMontagne

No explanation is necessary for this one, at least in my opinion. There’s just something about Trouble that gets my creative juices flowing. It’s inspired me to write one of the steamiest sex scenes I ever attempted. Maybe I’ll share that scene on my blog someday and really live up to my NC-17 rating.


What song (or songs) inspire your writing?


3 Replies to “Top 5 Songs to Fuel Emotional Scenes

  1. I can’t, right off the top of my head, think of any one song or songs that inspires me. But I do find music, in general, to be quite inspirational. Usually, it will be a song from the radio that catches me off guard and puts me in the mood to write.

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