How I Write Novels

A Playlist will Bring Your Novel Alive — Before it’s Written

1 Trick I’ve Used To Write 5 Novels

Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
2 min readMay 6, 2022


Building a playlist for my newest project.

When I’m writing a book, a playlist connects me to my characters and my story. I build this playlist by adding songs I come into contact with that correlate to any aspect of the project, as I move from imagining that fictional world to actually writing it. A few examples:

  • characters
  • setting
  • emotional arcs
  • regional/historical sounds

I always enjoy building this playlist because it’s a way to world build that isn’t on the page or just in my mind. And this kind of “off-site” project, although technically “work,” is work I can do when I’m not actually able to be behind my desk, and which will, in turn, feed that same need down the line, when I need to feel connected to my book but am not able to sit with the actual book itself.

As the playlist becomes more robust, I listen when…

  • I’m doing housework
  • answering my email
  • driving carpool
  • and hanging with my kids

… just to name a few.



Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

She/her. New York Times bestseller / Author of five novels including: Fierce Little Thing, June, and Bittersweet.