Sometimes an author needs the proper atmosphere to write a novel. This could mean writing in the park or woods, the loud cityscape, or listening to the right music. An easy substitute for traveling to such places would be ambient noises offered on Youtube. Listening to ambient sounds is an excellent way to get into a character’s perspective or feel out their environment.
Of course, another audio tool is music. This is particularly helpful when writing fantasy or historical pieces. But it can become a crutch or obstacle if the author isn’t careful. Listening to fantastical instrumental soundtracks like the music in “The Chronicles of Narnia” or even “The Pirates of the Caribbean” can become distracting or subconsciously influence your writing style to match the soundtracks’ films. A beta reader can help keep things straight, but be sure to tell them if your character is inspired by a beloved movie character. It’s a fine line between inspiration and plagiarism, after all.
I’ve found individual YouTube artists and composers are the best way to discover inspirational music. Personally, I enjoy the artist and composer Adrian von Ziegler. His work ranges from calm seasonal melodies to fast-paced Celtic tunes or intense Viking battle music. No matter the song, Ziegler’s compositions encompass the essence of fantasy. He himself is a fantasy writer who finds it useful to accompany his writing with music, so you know everything he records is original!
If Celtic and Nordic aren’t what you’re listening for, look at ThePrimeCronus, who collects songs from artists and orders them into hour-long mixes. He describes everything with helpful titles like “Dawn of the Villains- 1 Hour of Powerful Dark Epic Music Mix” and “Spellborn [Epic Emotional Drama].”
Also, take a look at You Write Fiction‘s Top 10 Soundtracks for Writing Fantasy. These soundtracks are from various films and aren’t in any particular order, but if you’re searching (or listening) for inspiration, this is a great place to start!