Elise Rome


Elise Rome, Writers and Writing


Okay, wait. I know it’s Friday and everyone’s not thinking clearly. I also know that most of you have probably gone to see the movie Magic Mike in the last couple of weeks.

Just to be clear!

That’s not what I mean when I say “doing it for me”. 😉

I’m talking about *writing*, people. (And you’re welcome for the eye candy on your right. =D )

Specifically, I’m talking about listening to specific music or watching specific movies that inspire my writing brain.

I’m not one of those writers who can multitask. I can’t watch TV or listen to music while I write. I have to have complete silence. But this doesn’t mean I can’t be inspired by music and movies all the same.

In terms of music, I love finding new bands or artists who tell stories in their music. I don’t know any other way to explain it other than that. I don’t have to have a specific genre of music, but I need to hear a story in their lyrics (or, in the case of classical music, the composing). It does, of course, help if the story is romantic in any way.

Examples of my music favorites:

Sara Bareilles (so many of her songs have inspired future story ideas while listening)

Foo Fighters

Damien Rice

Taylor Swift

Better than Ezra

Kelly Clarkson


Jason Mraz

And the Love Actually soundtrack, because it makes me think of the complex relationships in that movie

I’ve found that music gives me lots of ideas for stories, but it can’t really create the passion I love to feel when I go to write from my characters’ POV. If I’m feeling really disconnected from my writing (romance is pretty far from my mind after I’ve said “do you need to go potty?” 100 times that day), I turn to movies. And yes, these definitely have to have some kind of romantic element to put that passion back in me. As an added bonus, I’ve also found some great visual inspiration for characters in these movies, too. =)

A few movies that come to mind that have helped me get that lovin’ feeling again…

Ever After (a must see Cinderella retelling for any romance lover)

August Rush (true, it’s really the story of the kid, but I love the romance between the parents; amazing movie overall, and a must see if for no other reason than hearing/seeing Jonathan Rhys Meyers as a rockstar)

Lost in Austen (the kiss at the end. I would watch this miniseries a thousand times for the kiss at the end. Elliot Cowan IS my perfect imagining of Mr. Darcy, and I will fight for him against any other Darcy impostor out there–that includes you, Mr. Firth!)

Shakespeare in Love (I have to be honest, I didn’t *love* this movie, but yes I did love the passion of Joseph Fiennes in this movie…and, yes, Joseph Fiennes himself =)

Now I’m not going to say whether it’s the actors involved or the movies themselves, but 99 times out of 100 when I watch these movies (and any movies like these I come across!), it gets my romance novel writing mojo back on track.

Do you have any particular music artists or movies that fill you with the same passion you get when you read a truly terrific romance novel? If you’re a writer, do you use movies and music the same way? Or do you have any more great suggestions for me that I need to check out? =)

20 thoughts on “Music and Movies that Do It for Me

  1. Thanks for the eye candy, Elise! I do use music when I’m writing. I love Dave Matthews Band and use him a lot but I also fall back on old classics like Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, some Ray Charles. I like Natalie Furtado and Adele and Norah Jones, Jack Johnson, John Mayer. Oh goodness I could go on for days! Love music. Always listen to Mozart when writing a synopsis, don’t know why!

    1. Elise Rome says:

      Hi Kathy! These are some awesome groups! I especially love Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye, and I think I have almost all of the Norah Jones albums on my iPod. =) Since classical music is supposed to be intellectually stimulating, I might have to try Mozart for my future synopses and plotting, too. =)

  2. Great post, Elise! And yes, thanks for the picture (not that I didn’t swipe it off the internet already, of course!). I generally have one song for each book that puts me in the emotional mindframe of the book…but man, that song is hard to find! Once I finally get it, though, it’s like subliminal magic. I put it on repeat and listen to it at the lowest volume, over and over and over. Hundreds of times. As for actors, well, yes. Tom Hardy is my latest crush. It’s the smile. Kills me!

    1. Elise Rome says:

      Hi Kristan! I’ve try to find specific models for my current hero and heroine so I can refer to them while I’m writing the book; I can’t imagine how hard it must be to pick the perfect song (but I seriously want to try now, lol). As for Tom Hardy, I’m in complete agreement. Those lips! =)

  3. Emily McKay says:

    *Love* all the movies you mentioned. I think Lost in Austen is brilliant. Next time we’re together in person, can we please sit down and just geek out about it? I recommended it to Robyn, but she never trusts my taste, so I think she still hasn’t seen it. grrrr….

    But back to the real question. I do the song per book thing, like Kristan. Not always or exclusively, but generally, I do that. Having a song for the book is so useful because it automatically puts you in the that place, emotionally.

    Ironically, I can’t write to movies sound tracks (I used to try it all the time), because I end up drifting off in my mind remembering the movie. I love the music in Out of Africa and in Ever After. I tried to write to both of those and just can’t.

    1. Elise Rome says:

      Hi Emily! Yes, geeking out about Lost in Austen sounds like a fabulous time. =D And Robyn, seriously–go watch it now!! Okay, I might have to start pairing up songs with WIPs now. If it works for you and Kristan, it has to work for me, right? =)

  4. Shana Shana says:

    I can’t write to music either. I can work at Starbucks because for the most part I can tune out the noise–and also because sometimes I just have to.

    I have seen Lost in Austen, and it was cute. Robyn, you’d like it. I don’t think it’s brilliant, but I enjoyed it.

    Downton Abbey inspired me. Books, usually non-fiction, inspire me. Music doesn’t inspire me all that often, and I really don’t know the last time I saw a movie (although obviously they inspire me as I have Lord and Lady Spy [Mr. and Mrs. Smith] and am working on True Spies [True Lies]).

    Have you seen Sliding Doors? That’s one of my favorites.

    1. Elise Rome says:

      Hi Shana! I’ve tried writing at Starbucks before, and I know I could do it if, like you said, you have to, but yes, silence is definitely my preferred writing environment. For me there’s a difference between music and movies that inspire me with ideas and music and movies that inspire me emotionally. Both are great, IMO. Now I’m looking forward to checking out Sliding Doors–thanks! =)

  5. Connie Fischer says:

    All I can think of that fills me with that dreamy feeling is the music from ‘Somewhere in Time.” It never fails to bring tears to my eyes.

    By the way, how are you feeling??? Hope you’re healing and feeling better. Take care of yourself.

    1. Elise Rome says:

      Hi Connie!! =D I’ll have to look up “Somewhere in Time”. It’s not ringing a bell right off, but it might be one of those songs that I know, just don’t know the title to. “Unchained Melody” and “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” and “At This Moment” also make me emotional, although some are sad.

      Thank you so much for asking about me! I’m feeling a ton better today that I was earlier in the week–must be feeling well if I started cleaning, lol. I’m hoping to be back to normal Sunday so I can start working/writing again; I’m planning on taking it pretty easy until then. Hope you have a great weekend! =)

      1. Connie Fischer says:

        Hello, Elise! So glad to hear that you are feeling better. Just remember that you cannot push yourself. OK?

        “Somewhere in Time” is the name of the movie and theme song that starred Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. It is one of the most moving love stories of all time. Watch it if you can and listen to the music and I guarantee you it will make you cry just like the strong emotions that many romance novels bring.

        Hope you are back to your normal activities real soon!!

    2. Elise Rome says:

      Thank you, Connie, for the well wishes and for the rec! =)

  6. RobynDeHart RobynDeHart says:

    Okay first and foremost, I must spank Emily. I do too take your suggestion. I even own Lost in Austen, no I haven’t watched it yet, b/c it’s like 3+ hours long and well, that time is hard to find these days. But I’m excited to watch it and put it on my Christmas list last year. And well, Firefly, hello! And you know how much I hate space stuff. 😀

    Now back to Elise’s question. I find music inspiring and every now and then find a song that sort of fits one character’s emotional journey. But I can’t listen to music with words when I write. I trained myself how to write with soundtracks b/c The Professor has TV on all the time so if I write when he’s home, then I need something to block out the noise. It also works well if I’m writing at a coffee house. So I have a large collection of instrumental movie soundtracks that get my writing juices flowing.

    1. Elise Rome says:

      Hi Robyn! Glad to hear you’ll be watching Lost in Austen soon. I love Elliot Cowan. Have I mentioned that yet? =) Mr. Rome also likes to watch TV a lot when I’m writing. Fortunately when we moved the girls in the same room together that freed up room for an office of my own (yay!), but before I’d been tempted to buy noise-canceling headphones. I’m glad to hear it’s possible to train yourself to write to music; I can imagine this is also good when you need a “cue” to get you going.

  7. OMG!

    You and I are THE only one’s out there that are dissing CF’s Darcy in favor of Elliot Cowan! Just ADORED him in the role!

    Music that totally gets me in the mood is Bryan Adams and ‘Anything I Do, I do It For You’ from Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood…

    Melissa Etheridge’s ‘I Want to Come Over’

    Chris Isaak’s CD’s ROCK my boat and my DH and I listen to it all the time (‘Wicked Game’, ‘One Day’ and ‘Somebody to Love’ are just a few of my fave’s)
    OMG!…and soundtrack from ‘The Last of Mohicans’… speaking of that is my favorite movie of ALL time…

    BUT, then there’s ‘North and South’ with Richard Armitage and THAT kiss, and let me tell you, if you ever, EVER want to describe a scene where there’s a LOT of sexual tension..just watch RA in Robin Hood series w/ Maid Marian!!! The chemistry was out of this world between the two. Forget the guy that played Robin Hood!

    I also LOVED the love scene between Toby Stephens’ Rochester and Jane… very sensual (it’s on YouTube)…

    I better stop now or I could go on forever and ever!


    1. Elise Rome says:

      See, Melanie–I knew there were multiple reasons why I love you. 😉 Elliot Cowan. *fans self* Yes. Just yes. And I even looked up pictures of him in “normal” costume, and even balding he’s still hunkalicious (yes, I did just say that *g*). I also found a YouTube video one time of him kissing in many different roles, and you will DEFINITELY need an ice pack after that. *searching for video again…*

      These are some awesome suggestions, too! I love Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game”. It was one of my mom’s favorites that she introduced to me. And how could I have forgotten Richard Armitage??? *sigh* If I ever have a book made into audiobook, I need the money so I can pay him as my hero, too–in all of my books. *g*

      Thanks for all the great ideas!

  8. Laurie says:

    Love the music from:

    Phantom of the Opera,
    Dirty Dancing,
    Man From Snowy River,
    Moulin Rouge
    Pretty Woman
    Across the Universe

    Love Mosart

    I did like the movie August Rush too.

    1. Elise Rome says:

      Hi Laurie! These are some fantastic suggestions, as music and movies, too! And I’m so glad I found another August Rush fan. =) We own the movie and maybe I’m a little more hormonal after having kids, but it never fails to make me teary-eyed at the end. =)

  9. Great post. I find watching movies inspires me a lot. Whenever I get in a reading slump and everything just seems so blah, I watch Persuasion, Pride & Prejudice, Emma, or North & South and I feel that gets me in the mood to read a good book.

    1. Elise Rome says:

      Hi Danielle! Oooh–I’d never thought about movies inspiring you to read books, but you know, now that I think about it, that has happened to me, too. Also, thanks for the suggestions! Outside of Pride & Prejudice, I don’t think I’ve watched the other Jane Austen movies.

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