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Monday, April 16, 2012

Writing Prod

            Today is Monday and that means another Prompt Prod to help you get your creativity on track for the week. As always, please feel free to include what you came up with, or a link to what you came up with, in the comments section below.
            Last week I explored looking at movie titles as a source for writing inspiration. A similar method can be used with songs. Obviously, you can do the exact same thing with song titles that we did with movie titles; anything with titles can be used that way.
            The great thing about using songs for inspiration is that they not only provide words and concepts that ripe for spring-boarding a story, but the music itself gives an emotional direction. For authors that translates into mood and setting.
            Listen to a few songs. If you have a rough idea of what you want in the story you can even pick songs that have a tempo appropriate for it. Since lyrics are interpreted so differently by each individual the chances are good it will lead you to create a unique story line. I think the trick to this method is to think outside the box. Most songs have a message that is easily followed (when you can understand what they’re singing), but ignore that and really stretch your imagination on what it could mean.

            Once again, use the prompt to write a small story (100-200 words) or the elevator pitch for a novel or screenplay. I will include a few excerpts for all of you to work with, but don’t hesitate to use whatever happens to be playing on the radio right now.

1. Children of the Sun by Billy Thorpe

The people of the earth stood waiting
Watching as the ships came one by one
Setting fire to the sky as they landed
Carrying to the world children of the sun, children of the sun

2. My Generation by the Who

Why don't you all f-fade away (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
And don't try to dig what we all s-s-say (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
I'm not trying to cause a big s-s-sensation (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
I'm just talkin' 'bout my g-g-g-generation (Talkin' 'bout my generation)

3. Holiday by Green Day

There's a song sounding out of key
To a hymn called Faith and Misery (Hey!)
A plead, the company lost the war today

I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives
On holiday

4. Savin’ Me by Nickelback

Heaven's gates won't open up for me
With these broken wings I'm fallin'
And all I see is you

5. The Look by Roxette

She's got the look.
She's got the look.
What in the world can make a brown-eyed girl turn blue.
When everything I'll ever do I'll do for you
and I go: la la la la la

            Here is my take on a couple of the songs:

Based on “My Generation” is a pitch for a YA book. Jerrod may have the coolest parents on the planet. In fact, they may be too cool. How can he get his friends to pay more attention to him than his parents?

(I know it needs some work. Normally I spend more than 15 seconds on my story pitches.)

Based on “Holiday” is a pitch for a dystopian book. After a brutal war, the Holy Voice has brought peace and harmony to the nation as it recovers from near annihilation. But when Sunflower’s parents mysteriously disappear she discovers a diary that chronicles their actions with a secret society intent on overthrowing the government. And that’s when the Holy Voice takes notice of her.



  1. I'll use this for my prompt on a pitch:
    Savin’ Me by Nickelback

    Heaven's gates won't open up for me
    With these broken wings I'm fallin'
    And all I see is you

    Rox always knew someone somewhere watched out for her. During her normal morning run, she's drawn to a young man, bruised and battered, curled up on a park bench. He can't remember anything but a vision of her death and that somehow, only he can save her.

    1. Wow. That is awesome. I think that is a winner of a pitch.

  2. Great idea Randy. And Angela - love yours!

    1. Thank you, Susanna. I appreciate your comments.