When I started writing again, I found having music going in the background helped me to zone in. I was not a silent worker. I listen to music and I talk out loud. Most of my runs help me to plot out next the chapters.

We started paying for Spotify and there was no going back.

When I started writing Dandelion, I took the whole writer’s playlist to a new level. The first playlist I created was simply for the book, but each song was attached to a certain character or chapter. Then I began creating playlists for each character and their story with Dandelion. The first one I made was between Aaron and Dee. Finding music that expressed their relationship helped me to understand them on a new level. The same way the binders helped me visualize them and read about them the music helped to carry me to their world and inner thoughts.

When creating characters, you need a full toolbox to turn to.

I’ve continued the playlist theme with the following two Dandelion books. I’ve also created playlists for other wips. Some days the characters make me angry and I go on a run to work it out. I take my playlists and listen to them while I figure out the next step.

Music can help me get in a rhythm and propel my writing forward. It can touch my emotions in a new way and help me reach for the right words to express that emotion for my characters. It can reveal secrets and tell truths.

The playlists are the final piece in my puzzle of creating authentic characters. I plot them through personality tests. I find art they would enjoy and clothes they would wear. I search for quotes and books they would read. I look for colors that would suit them. I curate visual boards for them. Then I start writing stories of how they grew up, what trauma happened to them, their happiest times. And finally, I make a playlist for their lives. Each of these tools works together to help me visualize and write a character that feels whole and three dimensional.

What helps you get in the zone when writing?