Tag Archives: Writing Prompt

Writing Prompt: Music Inspiration

12 Jun

Music is often a soundtrack in our lives, the music playing on the radio the last day of school before summer, the song we dance to at our wedding, the lullabies our mom sang to us and that we sing to our own children.  Some of my favorite author’s like Carrie Vaughn in her Kitty Norville series include playlists of music that was inspirational in writing the story or that goes particularly well with different scenes in the book.  I’ve enjoyed a lot of her picks including Mr. Brightside by the Killers in Kitty Takes a Holiday.

For this week’s Writing Prompt listen to some of your favorite music and see what it inspires.  What type of romance does your favorite love song put you in mind of?  Maybe that Metal Ballad will inspire a dark fantasy story or that quirky pop hit could have the next great American novel hiding in it.  Don’t just think about the lyrics, but also the sound of the music, what could you imagine happening that would accompany it. Let your imagination go wild.  You do not necessarily need to have the story be what one would necessarily expect from the music.  Look at how the pop music of Scandinavian band Abba became a hit musical set on a Greek Island.  You can have each song represent a chapter of a novel or simply let the music play in the background as you work on a short story.

Of course, this writing prompt works great in reverse too. If you are a musician you can take inspiration from an author’s book or poem.  What type of sound do you imagine accompanying your favorite novel; break out your favorite instrument and create the perfect soundrtrack.  You could even think of transforming an older, no longer in copyright, poem into a song.  You can hear two very different versions of Poe’s Annabelle Lee, one rock and one classical available from Freegal Music.

Hoboken Library patrons can find inspiration in the many ebooks and streaming music the library provides.

We hope you have enjoyed our Friday Writing Prompts! As the library gets ready to ramp up to our reopening we will be going back to one weekly post on Wednesday, but for those that have enjoyed our Writing Inspiration posts we will continue to feature them occasionally. Best luck on all your writing endeavors!

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Information and Digital Services

Writing Prompt: Short Short Stories with Big Big Impact

5 Jun

My colleague talked in her blog post about Brown Girl Dreaming on Wednesday that we sometime think that we need to use a lot of words to get across our point or idea, but short short stories are like their name suggests very short and like with poetry a little can go a long way.  Short short fiction often also has a surprise closing think O’Henry stories or an M. Night Shyamalan movie that gives them a big punch at the end.  If you like to use a lot of words and find yourself needing to edit down then this could be a great challenge in focusing on conveying what you have to say in a small space.  It is also a great option for those who think they do not have enough time to write.    Hoopla has several collections of short short fiction including Great Short Short Stories, which includes works by notable authors all under six pages in length and The Short, Short-Story Omnibus including stories with twist endings. 

Try thinking of something you found surprising or unlikely to happen, what could you setup to lead up to that point?  What mundane every day activity could you give a unique twist to?  Sometimes having a shorter story that has a strong concept can resonate more than one that takes 100’s of pages to tell.  If you are feeling especially ambitious about being “short” then you can try your hand at microfiction which is made up of stories of under 300 words.  Some writers like to challenge themselves that their pieces are so short they can fit in one Tweet so remember if you have time to write a post in social media, you have enough time to write a story!

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Information and Digital Resources


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