A Writing playlist for specific scenes & character development

We all rely up on music for creativity, now here is an index for inspiration

A Writing playlist for specific scenes & character development

I've always had a habit of making specific playlists for any occasions. Road trips, walks in the forests, songs for my soul, running, etc.

Music makes an impact more then you know, I'll share a little obscure fact. The movie, The Hitcher, was inspired by the song Riders On The Storm by The Doors. If you look at the movie, and compare it to the song. The dots connect from song to plot inspiration.

There have been songs that have been the uncanny inspiration for two scenes I wrote, but I couldn't find a balance to have my love of music help me with staying focused.

I used to have a playlist called Writing Jams, but depending on what book I was writing, I would have to scroll through and find a song that pertained to the exact moment I had to continue. Because I lacked the organization to my creativity, I ended up scrolling through all my songs. I was wasting time because I put too many songs that went to different projects in one section.

I had to have an organized section depending on what story I was writing, to help invoke an idea to expand on a scene to help me focus on how exactly this scene would play out.

I made a specific playlist for my book, my characters, but also a certain feeling or vibe. That list has helped me stay focused to have a better plethora.

I created this music index for a certain something of a sound to help brainstorm anything: Scenes, character traits, atmosphere, time frame, character development, etc. If you are stuck in moment in your book and would like some musical help. I've gone through my songs to categorize to those brainstorm sessions for your book.

Fighting scenes

These songs can be used for anything your creating for a part in the story that involved of a bloody good fight. I even threw in a couple songs that I used in my own books for having a song played in a fight that normally wouldn't be there. But the heightened excitement from the happy sounding songs, does add to those rambunctious thriving fights.

  • Locomotion by Grand Funk Railroad
  • Working For The Weekend by Loverboy
  • Five to One by The Doors
  • Novocaine by Fall Out Boy
  • The Sharpest Lives by My Chemical Romance
  • Gangs In The Street by Loverboy
  • A View To A Kill by Northern Kings (Duran Duran Cover)
  • Let's Go by Wang Chung
  • Breaking All The Rules by Ozzy Osbourne

Sketchy Atmosphere

If you have a character that is in a bad bar, dealing with criminals, rough crowds, etc. This should help with that dive into the dark side.

  • Torture by The Jacksons
  • Jumpsuit by twenty one pilots
  • Female Robbery by The Neighborhood
  • Dark in My Imagination by Of Verona
  • Smells Like Teen Spirit by Think up Anger ft. Malia J (Nirvana Cover)
  • Killing Butterflies by Lewis Blissett
  • Tear you Apart by She Wants Revenge
  • Hysteria by Muse
  • Dangerous and Moving by t.A.T.u.
  • I Wear My Sunglasses At Night by Corey Hart
  • Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress) by The Hollies
  • Love Hates by Marianne Faithfull
  • Stylo by Gorillaz
  • Come As You Are by Nirvana


  • In My System by Trevor Something
  • Bloody Mary by Lady Gaga
  • Pretty Little Psycho by Porcelain Black
  • EVOL by Marina & The Diamonds

Introduction for a powerful character

  • Widowmaker by Night Argent
  • Dark Horse by Katy Perry ft. Juicy J
  • In The Air Tonight by The Protomen (Phil Collins Cover)


  • Man In A Box by Alice in Chains
  • Poison by Groove Coverage (Alice Cooper Cover)
  • The Kill by 30 Seconds To Mars


  • Afraid by The Neighborhood
  • Ilomilo by Billie Eilish
  • Breaking The Habit by Linkin Park
  • W.D.Y.W.F.M? by The Neighbourhood

Defeated Character

What must come up, unfortunately comes down.

  • Mercy by Hurts
  • Let Me Fall by Josh Groban
  • The Dark of You by Breaking Benjamin
  • Exit Calypsan by Falling Up
  • King's Cross by Pet Shop Boys

Romantic Interest

I'm not the best with writing romantic concepts, I need all the help I can get. Depending on how exactly your characters begin their connection, I have a variety of songs that hit the soul about belonging together. Whether it's reckless, tragic, anything. How your couple begins, here's some help with that love connection.

  • Better love by Hoizer
  • I Found by Amber Run
  • Woman Woman by AWOLNATION
  • As Long As You Follow by Fleetwood Mac
  • Lust For Life by Lana Del Rey ft. The Weeknd
  • She's Like The Wind by Patrick Swayze
  • Color of The Night by Lauren Christy
  • Undisclosed Desires by Muse
  • Caught Up In You by 38 Special

Broken Bird/Lone Wolf Characters

If you have character that have a haunting past, closed off emotions, or continual failures. This is a range of songs I put together for any kind of backstory that you need an elaboration on as why this character continually has trouble from trauma.

  • How by The Neighborhood
  • Numb by Linkin Park
  • Loser by 3 Doors Down
  • My Demons by Starset
  • It's A Sin by Pet Shop Boys
  • Structure by Innerpartysystem

Intimate Scenes

Depending on how the relationship between your characters escalates to the sheets. These have helped me with getting an exact idea to convey the intimacy.

  • Stay by Trevor Something
  • Flesh for Fantasy by Billy Idol
  • Stripped by Shiny Toy Guns (Depeche Mode Cover)
  • Into Your Heart by Trevor Something
  • Flesh by Simon Curtis
  • Ring My Bells by Enrique Iglesias
  • Мальбэк - Равнодушие ft. Сюзанна (Malback - Indifference ft. Suzanne)

Flashback in time

If your story has a flashback to an actual time period you would like to have different songs to use for getting the vibe of that time period. If your story is focused on the flashback to the younger days of your character for their reminiscence . These should help out from any of those options.

  • Glory days by Bruce Springsteen
  • Seed of Memory by Terry Reid
  • The Boys of Summer by Don Henley
  • Art Deco by Lana Del Rey
  • Radio Gaga by Queen
  • Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Rey
  • Wildfire by Michael Martin Murphey
  • We Didn't Start The Fire by Billy Joel
  • Sweet Sixteen by Billy Idol
  • Travelin' Band by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Funeral Scenes

  • Swan Song by Lana Del Rey
  • Memories by Within Temptation
  • And So It Goes by Billy Joel

Introducing a female character

Depending what female character you create, if they are alluring, seductive, etc. They could be a shady lady, they could be a milady, or any kind of lady.

  • Miss Chatalaine by k.d. Lang
  • Black Sheep by Gin Wigmore
  • Maneater by Nelly Furtado
  • Break The Ice by Britney Spears
  • Power and Control by Marina And The Diamonds

Something Sinister

However the idea is for the monster or a character with malicious intentions, These are my go-to for any time I need to have a eerie feeling for a horrible part that is about to happen in the story.

  • In the Woods Somewhere by Hoizer
  • One Way or Another by Until The Ribbon Breaks (Blondie Cover)
  • Mutiny by Think up Anger ft. Malia J
  • A Dangerous Mind by Within Temptation


In the moment after an intense conflict or realization of change. It could be that nothing was solved but there is a new sense of calm after the character's ordeals.

  • Frozen Pines by Lord Huron
  • Heal by Loreen
  • Smother by Daughter

Supernatural Suspicions

This is a plethora of supernatural themed songs, some that are kept in mystery that I feel can be open to interpret as something else. Thus you can use this song for a supernatural character.

  • Flash In the Night by Secret Service
  • Season of The Witch by Lana Del Rey
  • Devil Woman by Cliff Richard
  • A Handsome Stranger Called Death by FOE

Self Destructive Character

  • Gasoline by Halsey
  • Machine Gun by Portishead
  • Wires by The Neighborhood
  • Happy Days by Brooke Candy
  • Water Slides by Mew

Loss of Love

  • Pressure by Rains
  • Disappearing by The War on Drugs
  • Another Love by Tom Odell
  • Strange Way by Firefall
  • Ricochet by Starset
  • Ice Box by There For Tomorrow
  • The Blackest Day by Lana Del Rey
  • All Good Things Come To An End by Nelly Furtado
  • Circles by Ludovico Einaudi ft. Greta Svabo
  • Princess of China by Coldplay ft. Rihanna
  • When It's Over by Loverboy

Conflict between characters

  • Bad Blood by Bastille
  • You Got Lucky by Tom Petty
  • All the things she said by t.A.T.u
  • Power and Control by Marina and the Diamonds
  • Muddy Waters by LP

Anti-Hero Characters

  • Wrong Crowd by Tom Odell
  • House of Wolves by My Chemical Romance
  • The Fugitive Kind by The Trigger Code
  • Actions and Motives by 10 Years

Vengeful Characters

  • The Devil Within by Digital Daggers
  • My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark by Fall Out Boy
  • The World Ender by Lord Huron
  • Black Widow by Iggy Azelea ft. Rita Ora
  • The Wolf by Phildel

The Rise of the Fight

  • Twilight Zone by Golden Earring (Fun fact: This song was inspired by the Jason Bourne books)
  • White Robe by t.A.T.u.
  • The Phoenix by Fall Out Boy
  • Uprising by Muse

Characters fighting in a battle

  • Everyone is the Same by InnerPartySystem
  • Hurricane by 30 Seconds To Mars
  • Unknown Soldier by Breaking Benjamin
  • Anthem of The Angels by Breaking Benjamin
  • Lost Command by Yuki Kajiura

Characters that have lost focus or control

  • Tomorrow by SR-71
  • Monster by Starset
  • Take It All Away by RED

Criminal Characters

  • Off To The Games by Lana Del Rey
  • Serial Killer by Lana Del Rey
  • Notorious by Duran Duran

Bad Towns

  • Daytime Drama by Billy Idol
  • Edge of Town by The Truth
  • Flaggin A Ride by Divine Fits
  • West End Girls by Pet Shop Boys

Music helps the soul, inspires the intellect, and creates the great.

I hope this index has been able to help in any part of your plot or characters.

Have fun with these songs in your storytelling.

Samantha Parrish
Samantha Parrish
Read next: Jay Z: From Worst to Best
Samantha Parrish

I'm here to teach you something new or expand your mind in a neutral aspect.

Instagram: parrishpassages

Oh and I wrote a book called, Inglorious Ink.

See all posts by Samantha Parrish