The Music Matters

By Kathrese McKee | Feature

When you’re writing, the music matters. You authors know what I’m talking about. Something about my creative process demands music. Not pop, rap, R&B, country, or rock ‘n roll. I love that music, too, but only in my off time. Lyrics cloud my mind and crowd onto the page. So, no lyrics allowed while I’m writing because I’m already thinking about words. Which word do I select for this situation? What’s another way to say that? How can I describe the villain? What’s the character going to say next?

Instrumental music is the ideal backdrop for my writing process. My favorite music comes from movie soundtracks. I have something else to say, but please, take the time before you leave to share your favorite writing music.

Music and Fiction – Beyond the Concert Hall

Speaking of music, my daughter, Sarah, turned me onto Lindsey Stirling. Lindsey has a talent for combining music, collaboration, choreography, and video. She plays violin unfettered by the stereotypes of the traditional orchestra violinist. She’s taken the violin to the masses, away from the concert hall and out into the streets, fields, dungeons, and even outer space. Right into the places authors like to take their readers. Follow this link to Lindsey’s YouTube page.

Photo by adamr via

Fiction writers need to consider what Lindsey has figured out; to reach the next generation of readers, authors need to go beyond the “concert hall” of the hardcover book. Our storytelling needs to venture out into the places our readers live, possibly combining print with voice, pictures, video, and music to engage our audience. The concert hall has its place, but it’s no longer the only place.

Fiction is entertainment. Say that, over and over, until you believe it. Your audience desires a performance. If you cause them to think, if you lift them to a higher plane of existence, more power to you. But, don’t forget the performance, and don’t discount other media as you plan your approach to storytelling.

My Top Ten for Writing Time:


1) John Williams (Too many favorites, but Star Wars is first in my heart.)
2) Rodrigo y Gabriella and many, many other guitarists (including Andrés Segovia, Julian Bream, John Williams)
3) Dario Marianelli (Pride and Prejudice (2005) soundtrack)
4) Hans Zimmer (particularly The Dark Knight and Sherlock Holmes)
5) Klaus Badelt (Pirates of the Caribbean)
6) Greg Edmonson (Firefly)
7) Alan Silvestri (The Avengers)
8) Michael Giacchino (Star Trek and John Carter)
9) Patrick Doyle (all things Harry Potter)
10) Howard Shore (all things Lord of the Rings)

Special Mention: Enya (Even though she’s a vocalist, she uses her voice as one of the instruments, and the words don’t intrude into my writing space. It helps that she sings in several languages.)

 QUESTION: List your top ten or top x number of writing music selections. Share your favorites with the rest of us.


About the Author

Texas author, Kathrese McKee, writes epic adventures for young adults and anyone else who enjoys pirates and princesses combined with life’s difficult questions. She is committed to exciting stories, appropriate content, and quality craftsmanship.

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