Top 10 Soundtrack Composers

A lot of you NaNoWriMo participants are sharing your Spotify playlists. I’d share mine, but I’m super picky about what songs I add, so I want to build it up a bit more first. In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to count down a list (because who doesn’t love lists?) of my favorite score composers, since that’s where I find most of my writing music. Not all of them are from my NaNo playlist, but a lot of them have a song or two or ten in there.

#10 John Williams

I include John Willams in the list mostly out of respect. He’s such a talented composer! Personally, I’m not a huge fan of his style, but the mob would throw bricks through my windows if I didn’t at least mention him.

In case you don’t know who John Williams is, he’s responsible for the music in a little production called Star Wars.

#9 Alexandre Desplat

Two words: Harry Potter. Why is Desplat so low on the list? Well…the Potter soundtracks are fantastic, but when you listen to them all in a row, they start to blend together. Maybe that’s just because they’re so long? Either way, Lily’s Theme (Deathly Hallows) is definitely my favorite track.

#8 James Horner

Of all the entries in the list, Horner is probably the composer I listen to least frequently. He takes the eighth spot because a few of his tracks really stand out to me (namely a handful from his Avatar work). I really like the tribal feel in that score.

#7 Steve Jablonski

If you ask me, the Transformer movies are pretty bad. For a lot of reasons. The soundtrack, however, is not one of those reasons. Jablonski is an amazing composer.

#6 Trevor Rabin

Rabin makes the list as the only non-fantasy style entry. I refer mostly to his work for National Treasure, which is one of my favorite films of all time. The adrenaline-packed soundtrack is a big reason why.

#5 Thomas Bergersen

Okay, so Bergersen doesn’t compose strictly for soundtracks, but his work does find its way into a lot of trailers, so that counts, right? I mean, come on. The guy’s amazing. Just check out his albums called Illusions and Sun, among others.

#4 Harry Gregson-Williams

The lack of Gregson-Williams music on Spotify always disappoints me. He did such a brilliant job in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Why is that soundtrack so stinking hard to find anywhere?

#3 John Powell

This guy is all over my NaNoWriMo playlist. Simply amazing. So emotional, all over the spectrum. I can’t think of very many soundtracks more perfect than How to Train Your Dragon, can you?

#2 Hans Zimmer

You thought Zimmer would take the top spot, didn’t you? Well, not quite. He is, however, the absolute master when it comes to film scores. He’s everywhere, and he always delivers the best of the best.

#1 Hajime Wakai and Koji Kondo

Two people in one spot? Nate, you wretched cheater! Hear me out. I gave the top spot to both Wakai and Kondo because of one single soundtrack: Skyward Sword. No other soundtrack, film or game, has made me feel so many emotions so intensely. Never. Not once. While Koji Kondo did most of the music for the whole Legend of Zelda series, he only supervised for Skyward Sword, leaving Hajime Wakai (and a few others) to direct the bulk of the soundtrack. Hence, they share the spot.

Who’s on your writing playlists? Do you have a favorite soundtrack composer or two? Let me know! In the meantime, have a great day.

This Is Why We Write

To release the power of our imagination.

To prove ourselves on grand adventures.

To fulfill the unspoken desires of our mind.

To explore and express the emotions within us.

To meet people and go places we never would otherwise.

To feel, and to help others feel.

To mature as individuals and know ourselves better.

To throw ourselves at a daunting task and come out stronger.

To hold a reader’s hand through tears and laughter.

To give the world a glimpse of how we think, act, and love.

To introduce readers to a new friend or two.

To brighten someone’s day.

To inspire thought, change, and action.

To find shelter from a harsh world, and to turn back and attack it.

To send a message that would otherwise fall on deaf ears.

To understand people just a little bit more.

To entertain, to motivate, to comfort.

To allow ourselves the freedom to be who we were meant to be.





10 Ways To Kill Your Daily Writing

In which the Snark strikes again…here are ten ways to bring your writing day to a grinding halt.

Wait to start writing until inspiration hits you.

Neglect your coffee maker.

Depend on optimal circumstances for writing.

Just one more Youtube video…

Give in to the “I’m just not feeling it” vibe.

Keep social media tabs open in the background.

Get overwhelmed by unattainable word-count goals.

Do everything your cat demands of you.

Make edits at the end of each paragraph.

Stop believing that you can, in fact, sit down and write.



Have you been following these steps today? Then congratulations! You’ve killed your writing for the day. Hurray for you! Thank you for participating, and come again soon.



Where Do Your Story Ideas Come From?

I’ve recently seen people tweeting about where they get their story ideas, and it got me thinking. Even though I’ve only published a novel and a short story (which you can still preorder), I’ve written a handful of other novel manuscripts and quite a few short stories.

It was fun to think back and remember where I got the original story idea for each one. Here’s my list (as far as I can remember):


I’m a visual guy. I like being able to visualize the characters, places, and events of a story. Because of this, most of my inspiration and ideas come from browsing digital/concept art on Pinterest, Tumblr, and other sites.


Okay, so it’s a bit cliche to ‘be inspired by dreams,’ but a good number of my finished novel manuscripts (at least four) originated from random dreams that I had. No joke. It hasn’t happened in a long time, as I’ve ‘moved on’ to more reliable idea sources (whatever that means…I need coffee).


A bit of an odd one, I guess. A few of my short stories are based on my own fears. For example, bears scare the crap out of me (don’t judge). So I wrote ‘A Shot in the Dark’, a short story about a blind girl encountering an angry bear in the woods.

Personal life moments

My life’s not exactly an adventure film, but still. As a matter of fact, the only novel I’ve published so far (Little One) was based on a short story, which was based on a real-life moment (when I left for college for the first time and had to say goodbye to my then two-year-old sister). Yes, I absolutely blew everything out of proportion between the event and the novel, but the inspiration was there.


I firmly believe that a good song tells a story, with or without lyrics. A lot of scenes/moments/events in my fiction were inspired by particular songs or soundtrack pieces, especially by geniuses like Koji Kondo or the master himself, Hans Zimmer.

So where do you get your story ideas/inspiration from? I’d love to hear from you, so drop a comment below and don’t forget to follow/subscribe!