It is all very well to be able to write books, but can you wiggle your ears?

Inspiration for writers

Sometimes I stumble on blogs with interesting ideas for improving writing.

I thought I’d offer an idea in return.

Do you ever find a character doesn’t quite ring true when you read them back? For me, it’s usually the fourth or fifth most important character: not the main protagonist, but someone pretty important to the plot. A character who’s missed out on a bit of author love along the way.

Alanis_Morissette_22Well, here’s what I do. I find their song. The one that sings about their soul. About where they are at that moment you’re writing. For example, I”m writing about a successful and sassy newspaper editor at the moment. She’s in control, she’s driving the chapter’s narrative, she’s important to my hero… and she’s not quite ringing true.

So I spent an hour being pulled about by youtube, the way you do when you keep clicking the sidebar and one tune leads you somewhere you didn’t expect to go. Eventually, after a very strange roadmap, I came to a song which I could imagine being inside her head. Suddenly all of that success and decisiveness was completely challenged. Here are the lyrics:

“Thank U”

How bout getting off all these antibiotics
How bout stopping eating when I’m full up
How bout them transparent dangling carrots
How bout that ever elusive “could of”

Thank you India
Thank you terror
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you frailty
Thank you consequence
Thank you thank you silence

How bout me not blaming you for everything
How bout me enjoying the moment for once
How bout how good it feels to finally forgive you
How bout grieving it all one at a time

Thank you India
Thank you terror
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you frailty
Thank you consequence
Thank you thank you silence

The moment I let go of it was the moment
I got more than I could handle
The moment I jumped off of it
Was the moment I touched down

How bout no longer being masochistic
How bout remembering your divinity
How bout unabashedly bawling your eyes out
How bout not equating death with stopping

Thank you India
Thank you Providence, thank you disillusionment
Thank you nothingness
Thank you clarity
Thank you thank you silence…

When I imagined this song as the inner thoughts of my character, she became instantly rich, and everything she said dripped with bitter sweet emotion. I’ll not change her into Alanis Morissette, nor a gibbering wreck, but knowing that she is questioning herself and struggling behind her original demeanour makes her more interesting to write and more interesting to read.

You could do this with any character and any song, and get a completely different insight into their inner motivations.

Better still, when you come to write your next scene with that particular character, listen to the song before you start writing and you’ll set a brilliant mood for your work.

It works for me, and if it can help you too, you’re welcome to it.


One comment on “Inspiration for writers

  1. anntogether.com
    March 29, 2014

    Finding a character’s song is a wonderfully inspired idea. I’ll have to try this approach when I’m character clogged. Thank you so very much.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on March 29, 2014 by in Books, inspiration, Lyrics, My Books, Writing and tagged , , , , , .
%d bloggers like this: