The Influence of Lyrics

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The Influence of Lyrics

Post by Sólrökr on Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:26 pm

We all have different writing processes. Some of us need absolute quiet, while others relish in the chaos of their lives, using it as fuel. Some require a specific location, and some can write whenever an idea strikes. It's the nature of us as individuals. I cannot speak for other cultures, but I do know that for western society, music is a heavy influence on our culture, and as such, reflects in our writing. Whether it be the songs of our parents when we were children that subtlety honed our sense of self, our adolescence and musical experimentation that gave us shape, or a fuller fledged understanding of ourselves, representing a more defined musical taste. Conceding that not everyone follows music in the way that I do, the following idea may or may not work for some of you (Although, I think the more creative you are, the easier it could be.), but regardless here it is.

I've always loved music, and it has shaped my work. I listen while I write, and sometimes I steal a word or two (A lyric has a certain word that fits in the passage I'm using. Not lifting an entire sentence.), which I feel truly helped my understanding of word play. More, certain songs gave me ideas, or broadened my sense of self by refracting one idea off of another, delving deeper into an epiphany or train of thought. By hearing a certain type of song, one that constructs some type of logical framework, sometimes I idly wonder to myself what kind of story it could be, or what type of tribute could be offered up in response to the author. That's what this thread is. An exercise in creating a story from information given, but nothing grandeur. Idea smithing using the songs of your past or present, if you will, for the sake of practice.

I'll start with an example:

Green Valley
by Puscifer, off of Conditions of My Parole album.

"Hello stranger, can you tell us where you've been?
More importantly, however did you come to be here?
Though a stranger, you can rest here for a while.
But save your energy, your journey here is far from over.
Come the sunrise, we'll descend through Judgement Valley,
and weigh your worth before her majesty, the Verde River.

No direction but to follow what you know,
No direction but a faith in her decision,
No direction but to never fight her flow,
No direction but to trust the final destination.
You're a stranger 'til she whispers you can stay.
You're a stranger 'til she whispers that your journey's over.

Weigh your worth before her majesty, the Verde River."
– Truncated for the purpose of saving space. I cut the repeating chorus.

In my mind's eye, I envision a place untouched by normal society. Landlocked by a huge valley, perhaps mystical or illogical in its own way – upon the highest of the frosted mountains, but tucked deep into its burrow, flush with a sea of trees, cut between by a river. Somehow, a man arrives, bewildered of how he got there, maybe a plane crash or mysticism, where he stumbles upon a settlement of people. They welcome him with open arms, unsurprised by his appearance, sooth his ragged body, and spoil him with their comforts, but warn of the journey upon the next day. Maybe an elder of sorts is the one to explain this, someone who the main character has an affinity for in some way, or to keep along the lines of the mysterious, a loved one who had been lost, maybe in the same way as the protagonist, or that they died.

The ominous nature of judgement valley, and the lack of explanation is harrowing to the protagonist, but the elder or loved one calms their nerves, ceases them from becoming too anxious to be controllable. Upon the morning, the protagonist and a group make their way to the river, wherein the forest is strange and otherworldly. The river itself is beautiful and serene, as perfect as the chaotic world could make it, and there the person is truly judged. Whether they look into the river and it reflects their disposition (Which, for sake of a story, would be ugly, and then explore on from there what the repercussions of that would be.), or he is brought before an ageless woman who makes an arbitrary choice based on first impression or magical insight, or they feed him to an alligator.

All of these things are a possible extension. The story could be about the afterlife, an estranged experience between life and death, control, mortality, cannibalism, being shipwrecked, personal reflection, or anything else. It could be fantasy, noire, suspense, adventure! It is a setup, but without becoming too invested, unless the drive arises!

Anyway, I hope someone else has fun with this. I always think about it, and if the thread generates even a little interest, I'll post some more.
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Re: The Influence of Lyrics

Post by Wildsword on Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:40 pm

I'm for this! I will try to post something soon!
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