Screenplay Writing – The Use Of Music

It’s funny, I was going through some Old Writing Files I have on this Computer, that I had transferred from one of my Older Computers… The Files were Created Back When I was Focusing on Screenplay Writing back between 2003 and 2006.

I had Completed One Screenplay, Completely Edited it, and it was basically Ready To Go… However, I was always Creating New Beginnings of Screenplays, which often never made it very far… But I found that it was Important just to be Writing as Much as Possible, even if it wasn’t very good, and even if you never touched it again, lol

Today I came across such an Experimental Writing, which is Completely Not Formatted, Edited or anything more than a “Right Out of My Head”, and “On To Paper” kind of thing.

But one thing I did do, which if I recall I often did whilst Writing Potential Screenplays, was “Write Down Music” that might be played in the Scene…

Now Reading This, it seems almost more like a “Written for T.V. Movie”, lol… Which is ok, and some of the Music I chose along the way I know, and already liked… And some, frankly, I have no idea where I came up with it… Maybe I was listening to some sort of Online Radio Station or something, Though This Particular Piece looks to have been Written Back in 2005, so I’m not sure if I was aware of any Online Radio Stations at that time, as I Often Listen to “Pandora” these days, or Put My “ITunes” On Random.

Anyway, I thought it might be kind of fun to Share This Piece with you, not so much for the Writing, as like I say, it looks to have been something that popped in my head, so I Wrote it down… But more so to show you how Music can Play a Part in Writing a Screenplay, just like it plays a Major Part in The Actual Film itself.

Enjoy, I hope you get something out of this, lol

O.S. = Off Screen

V.O. = Voice Of

EXT. = Outside

INT. = Inside



(This Was a Working Title only)

A Screenplay


 James Mahoney




(Robert Palmer: Simply Irresistible) – Film Starts with a Black Screen, and This Song Playing

(Song Continues in the Background)

PETER (V.O) – “So… Tell me again what the stories about…”






JOHN (V.O.) – “Well… I haven’t gotten it exactly figured out quite yet…”




In the passenger seat JOHN, a thirty something year old male, and driving, PETER, his younger brother, make their way into the mountains of Big Bear California.


JOHN – “But I know that part of it will include this guy’s wife cheating and leaving him…”



PETER – “Wow…”


(Half Pause)


PETER – “That’s depressing man…”


(Half pause)


JOHN – “Thanks…”


PETER – “What happened to those types of stories you used to write when we we’re kids…”


(Half pause)


JOHN – “Like…”


PETER – “Oh… I Don’t know… Like the one where the kid hides away in the attic of his school…”


(Half pause)


PETER – “And reads that magical book that allows him to see into that magical world…”




JOHN – “Big dragon dog…”


PETER – “Yeah! That’s the one…”


(Half pause)


PETER – “And the kid’s like tucked up in that attic with a little paper bag lunch… And when the characters in the book stop to eat… Like… So does he…”


“And it’s like raining outside…”


(Half pause)


JOHN – “The Never Ending Story…”


PETER – “Yeah!! That’s the one… That was great!”


(Quarter pause)


JOHN – “That was a movie Peter…”




PETER – “Oh…”

That’s Enough, as I don’t like Posts To Get Too Long, but I’ll Do Part II of this Soon…

Until then, I leave you with a Couple More Robert Palmers Vids

This is Actually A Great Song

Robert Palmer – Didn’t Mean To Turn You On

And The One That Started it all

Robert Palmer – Addicted To Love

Thanks for Reading/Listening




9 Responses to “Screenplay Writing – The Use Of Music”

  1. […] *Here’s Part One if you Missed It Screenplay Writing – The Use Of Music […]

  2. Love it! I’m a screenwriter and can totally relate to the use of music in certain scenes. I’m was tempted write which song is playing in a scene, but my professors discouraged it saying it can be seen as screen direction.

    • Yeah, I’ve heard that as well… I originally wanted to be a Director, and then considered Screenplay Writing, but by the time I finally started to Pursue Film Making, I decided I wanted to Direct, Write and Produce Short Films to start…

      I did get a Short Film into a Film Festival, which was Awesome, but then shifted to Screenplay Writing alone…

      When Writing Screenplay Beginnings, I would Write Notes for myself of songs that would work with the Scene… But when I Full Blown Wrote a Completed Screenplay, I didn’t actually Include Specific Music… As, like you say, it can be seen as Directing.

      When Writing this Post I was more trying to show how I Listened/Used Music as an Inspiration Whilst Writing.

      I notice your Twitter says you’re an Award Winning Screenplay Writer and Author, what have you done?

      And, Thanks for your Reply, nice to talk to a Fellow Screenplay Writer, though I’m focusing primarily on Poetry, Novels and Comic Book Concepts at the moment.


  3. I get what you mean about your post. It interested me as I had written a similar post today about how music inspires me during the writing process.

    My script, The Roslin Effect, was one of 600 remaining out of 5,000 at the Nicholl Felowships, and it won First Honorable Mention/First Runner Up at the 2008 Orlando Hispanic Film Festival. The script went on to WOTW, who said it was a “highly commercial investigative thriller with a plucky rookie cop protagonist and a solid writing style”. I’m very proud of this script, and have since adapted it into a novel of the same title (you can read a sample of the first chapter on my blog).

    Have you adapted your scripts into novels or vice versa? I found it very difficult to adapt a book to script, but found if a story is originally written as a screenplay it’s a blast to expand on it for a novel as the structure is much tighter to begin with and all you have to do is add to the narrative.

    • Wow that is really solid…

      Also I like the Name “Roslin Effect”… But that Female Character is Awesome, I really like her.

      Wow, that’s Impressive about the Awards/Mentions… What is WOTW?

      Actually, I haven’t done either… I Wrote My Screenplay First Draft in 2002, then picked it up again in 2003, and Poured hundreds of hours of Editing/Rewriting 2003-2005… Then in 2006 I hired an Artist to Draw me some Scenes (To use as Eye Candy should I decide to Pitch it, as Often Producers/Investors Can’t Visualize it even if it’s Written well). The Drawings came out so well, that later I decided to Convert The Screenplay into a Comic Book Script, and Hired The Artist again to Draw a Couple Covers, and The First 8 Pages… I then submitted it to DarkHorse Comics (They did Hellboy, and are like the #3 Comic Book Publisher after DC and Marvel), but didn’t hear back from them.

      You can check it out here , mine is also about a Cop, but takes place a bit in the Future in Tokyo Japan… The Cop is from Chicago though, but relocated to Japan (that’s the back story).

      And I agree, Turning a Screenplay into a Novel would be a Dream… Like you say, the Structure would be all laid out.

      My Novels I’ve started from Scratch… My Screenplay I’m still hoping to use as a Comic Book, unless I decide to try to Sell it as a Spec Script again… I never tried all that hard, just sent out Inquiry Letter to Agents to try and get it read… But even that, I only sent maybe 10 or so out.


  4. Thank you! The character’s name is Ria Juarez, and she’s a lot of fun to write. I’m planning to write other investigative thrillers she can star in, in the future.

    I mis-typed it: I meant WOTS, which stands for Writers On The Storm. It’s a contest run by Coverage, Ink.

    Honestly, contests are the best way to go before submitting to agents. You might want to consider entering some — there are all kinds of catagories on If you have a niche, even better.

    I’ll definitely check out White Jade. You might want to think about adapting the comic to a novella at least as there are contests for short stories too.

    • I believe I submitted it to Scriptapalooza… But yeah, if I decide to try to focus on Screenplay Writing Again, I’ll check out some of those Contests… I agree that it’s a good thing to do prior to trying to get an Agent… Truth is, if I get back into Screenplay Writing, I would really like to Finish a Second Screenplay… White Jade is actually the First of a Trilogy, and I have Written the First Draft of the Sequel, but have never worked on it since.

      Thanks for the Suggestions.

      I have considered making “White Jade” into a Novel like you’ve suggested. It might happen at some point.

      I would actually like to Read Your Screenplay… As I really liked that First Chapter… I Like the Character, now I’m curious about the Story.

      Unless you’re not sharing it with People that is.


  5. I was thinking of posting the script, or at least a substantial portion of it. I’d love for you to read it; I’m flattered you liked the character.

    When you have your second draft ready I’d be pleased to read it. 🙂

    • Awesome, My E-mail is, you’re welcome to send it to me… Or if you’d rather I just read whatever you Post on Your Site that’s fine too.

      Yeah maybe I’ll have you read “White Jade” sometime too, that script is completely finished… My sequel, now that will take some work, lol But you’re making me think about working on it, ha

      I also Wrote 3 Teleplays for a Sci-Fi Series, also First Draft… 3 45Page Episodes…

      Now with that Project, I’m really waiting until I get a another Writer or two to Work on it with me, as I’m fine with the General Concept, but I feel it needs One or Two more people hammering at it.


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