Music. I love music. Music is what helps me concentrate on writing. It depends on my mood and partly on what story I'm working on that dictates what I'll be listening to. From epic fantasy to urban fantasy, from sci fi to romance. Music sets the mood.
For example, I listen to groups like Two Steps From Hell, E.S. Posthumus, and other instrumental music when I'm writing epic fantasy or more gentle scenes. I listen to harder music like Marilyn Monroe, Seether, and Godsmack for the grittier scenes in urban fantasy. I listen to Within Temptation, Nightwish, Xandria, and Lacuna Coil for the in between times in all of my stories. Sci fi gets some techno as well as my harder list. As time goes on, I add songs and groups to my lists when I find something I like.
Music lets me escape into the world that I'm writing about. I can see the characters, I hear their voices. I can see their actions and feel their emotions. Some of them even sing along with the music, or dance, and I can watch them having fun. Others rush into battle during some music and I can see the fighting and the death.
Sometimes I listen to it through the speakers on Himself's computer since mine don't work well anymore. Other times I plug in my earbuds and listen to it on my laptop I need to do something intense. Or when Himself is here and he wants to watch/listen to his own thing while I want to listen to mine.
My writing flows better when I'm listening to something because it helps me detach from my life and enter the lives of the characters. It gives me a breath from their world and makes things more interesting.
What about you? What do you listen to when you're reading or writing? Or whenever you want to listen to music? Who are your favorite groups? What is your favorite genre of music?