Apr 6, 2010

What we can learn about writing from...pop music

Granted, music and writing are different formats. But really, it's all about inducing some sort of thought and/or emotion in the consumer, and there could well be a lot to learn from listening to the right lyrics.

One thing that comes up right away is that emotions and situations, in song, can be conjured up in just a few words. To take some random sample of what my on-random mp3 player is conjuring up...
  • "How dare you? How old are you now anyway?"
  • "Went out walking in the woods the other day, when the world was a carpet laid before me. The buds were bursting and the air smelled sweet and strange - it seems about a hundred years ago."
  • "I have never cried in anybody's arms the way that I have often cried in yours."
  • "I'm looking at the sky cuz it's getting me high - forget the hearse cuz I'll never die."
(PS- Don't judge me, you know it's on your iPod too!)

Even without context, lyrics (like poetry) can evoke, entice, make us laugh and cry. We get a sense of voice, and emotional state. We can probably guess the genre even without hearing the tune. Our mind opens up to back story, makes connections to our own life, and fills in the blanks.

Can this be replicated in longer-form writing?

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