Jump to content

Does a picture/song/etc ever make you want to write?

Recommended Posts

I have an example. I found this picture on Flikr when looking for something else entirely* [And even if you don't care about this post, you will care about this picture. Please don't drool on the floor or Dude might get pissed.

So this made me think. Have you ever seen a single picture/song that has made you want to write a story? This one has my brain churning.

I say song as well because I've had songs do this to me as well.

* I need to click on the wrong thing more often :)

Link to comment

It's never happened to me, though a song will sometimes lead me into thinking about story ideas.

Dewey has written two short stories that I know of that are based on songs, so it definitely happens to others.

Link to comment

Music's definitely an inspiration for me.

I got the nerve to write L&L after spending hours every day walking through the woods, listening to the same album on repeat over and over again (Defiance Ohio - "Share What Ya Got").

I've got a 23-song playlist that I listen to while writing Laika that follows the mood and even certain events of the story pretty well. I actually put this together after plotting out the story, but hearing it always gets me in a writing mood. I'll post it if anybody's interested.

The story I've got planned next, once Laika's done, was inspired by walking around while listening to Rosa's album "I Mississippi You". Perfect walking around music.

Link to comment

OMG!!! Call the police! That dude has stolen Mick Jaggers lips! :cat::cat:

When doing poetry, Gregorian chants are what I listen to but with prose I make sure it's something I don't like. Otherwise I get lost in the music and forget to write.


Link to comment

Inspired by music? Absolutely!

My story A Time When It All Went Wrong was inspired by my listening to the song I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miz. My cousin Chris had been telling me about his problems with his dad, who was berating him for not going out for sports, and actually called him a pansy. What a shit my uncle is! Anyway, that made me realize that the lyrics in Les Miz

I had a dream my life would be

So different from this hell I'm living,

So different now from what it seemed...

Now life has killed the dream I dreamed...

described what Chris was going through. I'd only met Chris once, about a year ago when I went to Seattle with my folks for my Great-Great-Aunt's funeral, and he was there. He's about a month older than me, and we look so much alike everyone was telling us we looked like twins.

That combination was in my brain until I got home. I sat down and wrote the outline, and the first few chapters of ATWIAWW in one sitting.

Other things have inspired me. We had an assignment to write a story in my Creative Writing class last year. The title had to be "A Christmas Story." Ugh! Lame! We had to write 5,000 words over Christmas vacation and turn it in the day we got back to school. I wrote about a kid whose name was William Christmas and how that impacted his life starting when he was a little kid. But I got writer's block about 1/3 of the way through. I was stuck. Then I saw a show on HBO titled "I Have Tourette's but Tourette's Deesn't Have Me" about kids with Tourette Syndrome. The story really affected me. These were such great kids, stuck with a genetic condition that impacted their lives, often negatively, It was really sad, but uplifting, too. That show inspired me. In my (G-rated) story Will Christmas began showing symptoms of Tourette's. I finished it in one sitting. It ended up having almost 10,000 words.

I think inspriation can come from many sources. Music, TV, things I see and hear at school and on the street, the news, the one-sided conversations I hear people saying on their cell phones, basically anything in my life. And these inspirations often just pop into my head. So I always keep my eyes and ears open.


Link to comment

Just recently I got this weird idea of taking the plot from an opera, Verdi's Rigoletto (which is itself based on the 1832 play "Le roi s'amuse" by Victor "Hunchback of Notre Dame" Hugo), and making the central characters gay. I'd be up front about what I was doing; f'rinstance, I figured on calling the title character "Rick Letto." His boss, The Duke of Mantua in the opera, almost begged to be called Duke Mantee, but Humphrey Bogart beat me to it with that name 70 years ago. I wasn't sure whether to make it an outright parody or to maintain the tragedy of the story. It has possibilities - in the opera, Rigoletto, a physically deformed court jester, keeps the existence of his beautiful virginal daughter a secret, especially from his womanizing boss. In the gay version, his motivation would be to avoid outing his secret son to protect him from gay-bashers. Or, if I made the kid young enough, from pedophiles, and turn his boss into one.

What finally kept the project from coming to anything remotely resembling fruition was the realization that I'd have to turn into a real writer to pull it off, with all the effort and dedication that entails. I am, in essence, a lazy person.

Link to comment
LOL- the kid has got that hair-over-the-eyes, stoned skater look going... like all my boy friends prior to 1985. Sigh.

I bet he would fit in ADIP... Bam-Bam would chase him around.  :lol:

Amazingly, this picture reminded me of Bam, but I had already written ADIP before I saw this picture. I don't think Bam's would be the only guy chasing him around either :)

But back on topic, songs OFTEN make me want to write. Some songs don't lend themselves to a good story though.....

Alone was inspired by a book and a song. Anyone care to guess?

Link to comment

Sometimes, as you say, seeing a picture or hearing a song, might make me write but more likely a whole album, as Elecivil says, or a film. Or another writer. Still, it's less common than an idea, person, line of dialogue, etc, that pops into my head without me knowing its genesis...the way Angel de la Torres at the Green Room mirror did.

I listen to specific albums or groups for different characters in Drama Club, some of which is reflected in the lyric quotes interspersed throughout it. The correlation between a single song is, for me, more likely to be a poem...and probably extemporizing and expanding off of one image or word in it.

Now, music inspires me and I listen to it when writing some things (like Drama Club)...for most, I turn OFF the music, esp when proofing. I can hear my own prose better if someone else's lyrics aren't in my head...nonlyric music is fine, generally. Still, I find silence helpful in writing some stories, like the recent A Moment in Memphis. If I'm creating a mood, I like silence so that I can better hear the internal voices and music, the rhythms of the prose being created.

Sometimes I hear some snippet of conversation or see a face out in Real Life and that inspires me. Or gets me thinking. Same with a striking image, like the fresh-washed buildings of downtown Dallas after a rainstorm...though those inspire poems, not prose. Maybe the inspiration is different, less complex and more visceral for poetry?

I'm probably more often inspired by someone else's prose, not to copy it but to take a single line or idea and expand it or create a gay version of it or...something. Sometimes just the rhythms of someone's prose put me in the mood to write something in particular...whether in that rhythm or not, I'm not sure. Maybe some authors remind me of my own prose rhythms?

Am I making myself clear with that word 'rhythms'? Does everyone 'hear' their prose in their head, not just dialogue but narration, too? Patterns of sounds individual to particular stories, scenes or characters? I guess the cumulative rhymths would be an author's writing 'style'.

I'd think everyone 'heard' their dialogue, else how are they writing it to sound right? Sometimes I even speak lines aloud when writing, to hear their spoken sound...though that's more for established characters from Drama Club or Oscar Wilde.

Have I mentioned my own titles enough times yet? :lol:



Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...