In Part 1, I discussed literary influences and asked the question, what about the other stuff?
The other gigantic influence on me is music. I don’t ever write without it. Musical influences could go on and on forever, but I’d instead like to focus on the ones that have been crucial to the writing of the books so far.
My first book, The Intergalactic Writer’s Guild, which comes out this month, was written primarily to Chiptune music. Now, for those who don’t know what that is, Chiptune is generally music made using video game audio processors. So, in theory, chiptune music can be any genre or style, as long as it has a specific sound.
Personally, I enjoy my Chiptune jams to be on the happier, more upbeat side of life. The band Anamanaguchi is excellent for this, and I listened to their album, Endless Fantasy, a LOT when writing the book. I also enjoy The Minibosses and The Megas. Here are a few things on Youtube that I found myself listening to over and over again:
It’s worth noting that one of the rules I have when writing fiction is that the music I listen to can’t have any words or lyrics at all. It weirdly interferes with my brain and I can’t get around it. So, almost all everything I listen to while writing my books is instrumental. This rule isn’t as hard and fast for other things, like this blog or my newsletter.
For my second book (which is currently in edits), I moved to the genre of post-rock. I listened to a broad swath of different bands in this category during the months it took to write the book, from Sigur Ros (my favorite band ever) to Explosions in the Sky and all points in between.
The band I listened to the most, however, was Paint the Sky Red from Singapore. Their album, Not All Who Wander Are Lost, is a gift of an album and I’ve easily listened to it over 100 times. It was blasting through the speakers for most of the writing of book two, and there were moments when the story lined up with the music so perfectly I was brought to tears.
The third book, which I just started, has been fueled primarily by synthwave music, which is an electronic genre influenced by 80s movies and video games. I tend to like the darker stuff, but the happier/poppier stuff works great for me as well.
All in all, music fuels me. It keeps me going. It influences my emotions while I write and try to get everything out on the page. It also keeps me sane and keeps the rabble in my head down to a slow drone. Without its impact, I would be entirely lost as a writer
To deny one’s influences is to deny part of who you are. Personally, I love all of mine and wouldn’t have it any other way.