Every song tells a story, don’t it

28 01 2011

Music is one of the biggest inspirations to my writing, and my life. I’ve written several times in the past about what music has inspired me. However, besides just inspiring me to think about certain subjects or to act, music also has been known to get my creative juices flowing, leading to story ideas. I have a whole gaggle of story ideas floating around in my head, several of which have been directly inspired by a song.

These songs are as varied as the artists on my iPod, which range from pop acts like Usher and Lady Gaga to rock bands like Creed and Shinedown to hip-hop artists like B.O.B. and Eminem to Christian artists like Switchfoot and Red to singer/songwriters like Howie Day and   Jason Mraz to 80s icons like Madonna and Michael Jackson. And everything in between.

I am toying with the idea of doing several short stories based on these songs and collecting them in one book. I’m still playing with a name for the collection. Obviously it would have to be something involving music and words and stories and inspiration.  

From my quick research and my own knowledge, I don’t think anyone has ever done anything quite like this. That doesn’t mean this is a great idea. Maybe it means it’s a really bad idea. Maybe no one has ever done it because it is a ridiculous idea. I’m not sure. But it seems to me to make sense, to collect them together since their inspiration all comes from a similar place.

And all the stories seem to have a similar tone or mood as well. They all seem to have a supernatural, almost horror, bent to them. Not horror as in hack and slash type of horror. More psychological, ghosts, people returning from the dead – that kind of thing. I have started writing one of them, and the others are still in idea form. But once I have the time to sit down and start writing them, I have a feeling I could knock out the whole collection of short stories in no time.

In this new age of multimedia and cross marketing and using multiple platforms to tell a story, why can’t music and the printed word work hand-in-hand? Some of the story ideas I’m working on directly play off the lyrics of the song, meaning they tell more of the story beyond what the song lyrics tell.  Others are simply story ideas that spun around in my head after hearing a song. Either way, it seems like there would be enough people who may be fans of a song that would like to read a story revolving around a similar idea. Of course licensing would be an issue, but it would be cool to include a CD featuring all the songs that inspired the stories in the collection.

What do any of you think? I’d love to hear what others think about this idea.

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