Tuesday, January 28, 2020

ScribeTunes: Soft Tension

I’m excited to announce the launch of ScribeTunes! American and Canadian powers combine in a collaborative project between me and Cassia Schaar to help writers have the best music for their writing. Have you ever spent half an hour or more trying to find the right mood music when you should be writing? Then this project is for you! Every other week we will be releasing playlists on Spotify and Apple Music that are themed for any writing scene you can think of! 

This week we’re releasing a playlist of Soft-Tension. This is a playlist that you didn't know you needed, but you totally do. Cassia introduced me to this defining term and it means pieces for when your characters are doing something risky but there isn't all out combat. They're sneaking around in hidden catacombs and spooky forests. Nothing is happening yet, but it could at any second.

Give the playlists a follow because we're adding new tracks as we find them!

We also want to talk a little about why we chose some of these tracks. These and more are included in our ultimate playlist!

My Picks:

“Creeping Shadows” by Yoko Shimomura (Final Fantasy XV)
Like the title says the piece sounds like something is hovering right behind your character ready to strike. It’s deep tones with percussion and cello make this song a prelude to danger. This is perfect for when your characters are preparing for battles and sneaking into enemy fortresses. 

“Home of the Gumon” by Gareth Coker (Ori and the Blind Forest)
This is a milder tense song but it carries a sense of a precarious task. In the game at this point the player is in a treacherous world of ice where one misstep means death but it also possesses a feeling of longing and melancholy. This piece is perfect for when your characters are traversing dangerous terrain particularly near mountains and rivers.

“A Truth Whispered at Night - Part 2 - Out of the Embrace” by Joris de Man (Horizon Zero Dawn)
Mystery laces this track with tribal wind instruments and rattles accompanied by the somber sound of violin and piano. This piece is good for your characters entering a temple or taking part in a solemn religious ceremony.

“We Have Visitors” by James Newton Howard (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire)
A sinister air twists this track with shrill breathy sounds and a deep cello. This piece is perfect for when your characters are witnessing something terrible and secret from afar or someone uninvited has entered the house.

“Into Darkness” by Jeremy Soule (The Elderscrolls IV: Skyrim)
This is a subtle piece but it creates a great writing atmosphere. The soft hollow sound carries a lingering tension with occasional mournful moans the hint that danger is just around the corner. This is perfect for characters walking through ancient ruins or tombs. 


These playlists are collaborative! We’d love to have your suggestions for new pieces to grow these music archives. We just have a few guidelines: 

  • No lyrics! Scores only.
  • The tones have to stay consistent. No music that starts in one tone but shifts to another. 
  • No jump scares! Nothing messes up writing flow like flinching. 


To thank you for helping grow this tool for writers and get the word out we’re doing a quarterly drawing for a three month Spotify or Apple Music subscription! Suggested tracks that are already in the playlist will not count as entries.

  • New tracks accepted into the playlist earn one entry each.
  • Follow Cassia and I on Instagram, this blog, and Spotify/Apple Music and comment that you did and that will earn you two entries each!
  • Sharing this post with #ScribeTunesMusic on Instagram will earn you three entries!

Leave your suggestions in the comments! And come back on February 14th for the Romantic playlist! Happy writing!

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