But for many writers, music is what helps shift the mind into that elevated creative zone. The right music can set the tone for the ideas that are going to come forth, or can be used to help relax the writer as they sit contemplating just the exact words they want to use.
I'm the kind of person that thrives on music to set the mood, and videogame soundtracks seem to fit the bill when I'm committed to writing the next thousand words.
Why videogame music?
Modern videogame music, when it's done well, is great at establishing mood without dictating exactly what happens. I find that film soundtracks, for the most part, are very deliberate. Certain instances are designed to coincide with specific moments. In a videogame soundtrack the mood is more open- especially in the collection of soundtracks presented. Videogame soundtracks are also much longer than any film score which makes them ideal for an event like National Novel Writing Month.
Without further ado, here are a few topnotch soundtracks to help you coast to another writing milestone.
Red Dead Redemption
Red Dead Redemption was a great game- one of my favorite games of all time. And the soundtrack is one of its strongest features.
Recommended for writers tackling the big outdoors, westerns (of course) and anyone dealing with isolation and solitary figures.
Halo: ODST was kind of a smaller, simpler sequel in the massive Halo franchise. But with the smaller story and world comes a very interesting soundtrack that juxtaposes almost noirish themes with the thrill of combat and science fiction.
Recommended for cyberpunks, modern anti-heroes and urban adventures.
Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 is a MMORPG and as such has the longest soundtrack of any game on this list. The fantasy epic's soundtrack is incredibly well made and keeps things interesting throughout over 100 tracks.
I'll admit that I know nothing about the game, Nier. It has simply been recommended as a great soundtrack- though from the reviews this game was overlooked when it came out in 2010.
I know only that the soundtrack is a very impressive collection of very modern and futuristic compositions. This is kind of the "wild card" soundtrack that is simply full of enjoyable background music.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
I was a little hesitant to include two fantasy soundtracks in the same list but Skyrim is simply too good to pass up. Clocking in over 3 hours there is enough material here to fuel a most epic writing session.
How could I have passed up the beautiful desolation of the orchestral soundtrack to Fallout 3? While the game is notable for the soundtrack featuring Billie Holliday and The Inkspots, the sweeping original score composed by Inon Zur is something I return to on a regular basis.
What other game soundtracks stand up on their own and help put you in the zone?
List them in the comments.