I’ll admit I really like music. I listen to it a lot when I’m writing, usually just as entertaining background noise.
In a moving picture, music often helps to convey the emotions of those climactic or reflective scenes at a much higher level. Either that, or it completely drowns out the dialogue, but that’s not my point.
My point is that when writing a scene of a story, I’m also able to get a feel for the mood I’m trying to portray in there if I play some music that fits the same emotional criteria. Sometimes, songs with lyrics can be more than a little distracting, so I look for instrumental tracks. I have a whole playlist of royalty-free music from artists like Daniel O’Connor of Dan-O Songs and Kevin MacLeod of Incomptech. Their music collections include a great variety of genres and styles that fit all sorts of different scenes — and best of all, it’s all free!
If you’re familiar with Mark Jeffrey’s Max Quick trilogy, the first and second books were originally released as audiobooks. I found the first volume in book-form at my local library after it had been published with HarperCollins in 2011, and as I waited for the second book to be released, I listened to the original audio, narrated by Mr. Jeffrey himself. He did a fantastic job with the narration, and it was complemented very nicely by appropriate background music.
When it comes to picking the best music to fit the tone of my writing, I look for songs that I would theoretically use if I were making an audiobook. Thanks for inspiring my thought process that way, Mr. Jeffrey!
Currently, as I’m working on a hopeful and somewhat melodramatic estranged relatives’ reunion scene in my aforementioned novelette, I’m finding Dan-O’s “Come Alive” track to be very helpful. Also, when I wrote the first acts for the Figgies on a TARDIS script, I thought Incomptech’s “Baltic Levity” would be a great background track for when Jack accidentally presses a button which sends the TARDIS plummeting through the vortex. It just fit the comedic/dramatic tone of that scene!