Listening to music is one the ways that I tune my brain into the creative centers of my cerebral cortex. I especially like to listen to classical music—symphonies, string quartets, and trios are the most helpful—since there are so many things going on at once. (This why so few people listen to classical music. It’s demanding and calls for attention unless one turns it on as background music.) The main melody interacts with several other melodies at any given time, and both give way to the melodies of the next movement.
There is also a complex interplay between
the various instruments. In a string quartet, for example, there are two
violins, a viola, and a cello. They sometimes work with each, while at other
times they “play off of each other”—supporting each other, if you will—and yet
they all end up in the same place in the end. From diversity comes harmony and
a unified theme.
When writing a novel, an author must juggle
subplots and orchestrate (pardon the pun) the interactions of the many
characters. And then there are the issues of foreshadowing, flashbacks,
planting red herrings, description, narrative style. Everything must support
the novel as a whole and come together in just the right fashion.
Music and art of any kind go hand in hand.
That certainly holds true for music and writing. To write a novel is to compose
Of course, I can get inspired by listening
to the Beatles simply because their music makes me happy.