Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Little Bit of Inspiration -- Pick a Song

Music really resonates with stories for me. Last week my co-worker was listening to a piano station on Pandora, and a song was playing that I instantly recognized as the song playing during a very pivotal point in LOST. I asked who it was, looked it up, and I was right! For a good portion of the day to come, I couldn't get my mind off of that final episode of LOST (below, and now I have LOST on the brain again).

There are certain songs in my life that transport me back to a time and place, and there are some songs I can no longer listen to because they make me too sad. My dog was going into surgery, and If I Die Young by The Band Perry (below) was playing as they draped the leash over her neck and took her away from us. I was already terrified about her emergency surgery to remove a possible cancerous tumor, and going under the anesthesia. The song did not help... Needless to say, I was a crying mess.
Now, I can't stand to hear this song, and every time it plays, I remember that sad moment in my life.

So my challenge to you, create a short story, poem, flash fiction, or brainstorming session using a song (or two, or ten!)

Pick a favorite song (or a least favorite song, or any song at all). Sit in a quiet room, or put your headphones on. Close your eyes, and let the song transport you. What does it remind you of? A time and place in your own life? A piece of fiction? A movie? A TV show? Take this place you've thought up in your mind, and this is your setting.

As you listen to the song, what emotions does it conjure up? Make a list of these emotions as you go through the song.

Listen again, this time, listen for the five senses, write down any senses that come to you -- what do you see, hear, feel, smell, taste?

Listen again, and this time write down any images that come to mind. What is the tone of the song? The mood? Take notes on all of these items.

Now, if the song has lyrics, is there a particular line that stands out to you? Write down any words or lines from the song that come to mind.

As you listen to the song, is there a character in the song? Who is this character? The singer, someone the singer is talking about, an onlooker? Someone you think of completely outside of the song? Can you turn this person into a character?

I know these may be very strange things to think about, and may not apply to all songs. But after you've listened a few times, you should have a good amount of notes that you can turn into a story.

And remember to credit the song and the artist for your inspiration!! I hope you enjoy this little exercise!

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