Writers and YouTube Playlists — Ally Aldridge

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In the same way a song can make you think of a person, place or time, it can also inspire writers to develop chapters. Music can bring chapters, characters and moments to life. It is a great aid whilst developing your story.

The connection writers develop for their creations is personal, like a parent to their child.  This is why sometimes criticism (no matter how constructive) can hurt. But, this post isn’t about that.  This post is about the connection writers make with music.

Writing a novel is a long process. You develop a relationship with the characters, their environment and experience their highs and lows.  I struggle with writing horror because I frighten myself. Then I can’t sleep!


In the same way a song can make you think of a person, place or time, it can also inspire writers to develop them.  Music can destroy writers block and bring to life chapters, characters, places and moments.

Currently, the song that is really inspiring me to write a horror – if I can get over my fear of my own mind – is Ruelle’s “Monsters”.

I haven’t given up on this idea. Originally the idea was for the MC to be haunted by a demon (a mix of the urban legend of Slender Man, the manga character Orichimaru from Naruto and the Goblin King from Labyrinth). Although I am still struggling to get the outline right, I am now swaying towards this novel being part of my shifter series.

My story’s playlist

As I edited Drift, now Jewel of the Sea, for the umpteenth time, I created a playlist for the chapters.  This playlist was added to Wattpad using YouTube links as I worked on improving the story.   Some songs have been there since the start whereas others got added as the story developed.

Click here to listen to the playlist on YouTube:

  1. Taylor Swift – Everything Has Changed ft. Ed Sheeran
  2. Leona Lewis – Run
  3. Mazzy Star – Fade Into You
  4. Lykke Li – Little Bi
  5. Hunter Hayes – Invisible
  6. Christina Aguilera – Beautiful
  7. Evanescence – Bring Me To Life
  8. Birdy – Wings
  9. Coldplay – Yellow
  10. All Saints – Pure Shores
  11. Angel Olsen – Windows
  12. Wilco – Kamera
  13. Seafret – Skimming Stones
  14. Lauren Aquilina – Ocean <related chapter now cut>
  15. Dorothy – Gun In My Hand
  16. Katy Perry – Rise
  17. Ellie Goulding – Starry Eyed
  18. Ed Sheeran – Give Me Love
  19. John Legend – All Of Me
  20. Safety Suit – Anywhere But Here
  21. Demi Lovato – Stone Cold
  22. The Paper Kites – Bloom
  23. The Ligthouse and the Whalers – I want to Feel Alive
  24. Amer Run – I Found
  25. Evanescence – Bring me to life
  26. Ed Sheeran – Thinking Our Loud

Sometimes I hear songs and they inspire me to write (see 7, 8, 14 and 15). They draw up pictures and feelings in my mind and drive my imagination wild.


Other songs, I hear after I’ve written the story, usually whilst editing.  They remind me of the vision I had and help me focus on what I need the chapter to deliver (see 12, 13, 20, 22 and 24).

I’m not a fan of editing.  I spend way too much time being critical of my writing and ripping it apart.  I don’t enjoy the process and if I could afford to pay someone to do it for me, I would!  Having a playlist does make it a little more enjoyable and you can create one of all your favourite songs to keep you motivated.


When I first started writing Drift,  “Starry Eyed” by Ellie Goulding was playing on the radio and resonated with the way the story felt to me.

Once I finished editing Drift, I found that the song that resonated with the overall feeling of the story had changed.  The song is now “I Want To Feel Alive” by The Lighthouse and the Whaler.

Perhaps it’s a result of how the story has evolved or how my music tastes have changed over the years.  The bottom line is, music fuels my imagination.  It certainly makes editing more enjoyable.

Please share your playlists with me

If you have a writing playlist, please share it with me.  I would love to listen to and to know why those songs made your playlist.

NB Previously posted: Writers and YouTube Playlists — Ally Aldridge

If you enjoyed this, check out:

Where to find great story ideas…

Day 23 – Avicii

How I edited my novel – 12 tips for self editing

Do you keep notebooks of story ideas?

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