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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Build a Story World

Read With Impact

For Music ‘read’ for narrative characteristics, atmosphere, and emotion.

a.     What music genres would be a good back sound to your story?
b.     What do you find yourself humming when you’re working on it?

a.     Review a music video in mute—look for narration characteristics
b.     Listen to the music only—what does it add re atmosphere/emotion
c.      Looks at the lyrics—is there a story line?
d.     Watch the video again but now with the sound, what is your response?

Note: I suggest you also look at some of the earliest videos produced, such as Billy Joel’s, over thirty years ago as well as current.

How can you incorporate the ambience into your story? It’s almost impossible to quote lyrics or words from songs, but you can use the beats as a template. Substitute your own words and write out a few lines for your character to sing.


1.     Find a song that has been done by many artists and across musical styles. Which versions highlight what aspects of either the words themselves or the emotional resonance?

2.     List ways you adapt those characteristics to differentiate atmosphere or tension in one of your scenes.

3.     Take a movie or play that has been done over a period of several decades and note the difference in musical scores. Phantom of the Opera and Hamlet would be two good examples. Note how relevant, or not, costumes are to a musical production.

4.     Or revisit silent movies and early talking movies where the musical score had to carry a heavy weight.

5.     Read your opening scene as if it were a movie. What image/sound would the camera capture?

Share: If you wrote a new song, share one line. :) 

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