Music Challenge – Week 1

So I was spending the day writing and listening to music, enjoying a winter’s day that feels more like spring than winter. Most writers do it, although every now and then we can catch ourselves getting caught up in the lyrics. This is both good and bad. Songs are essentially poetry accompanied by music; they tell a story in a short amount of time, relying heavily on metaphors, similes, allusions, ad infinitum to get their point across. Sometimes these little bursts of modern poetry trigger something in an author, giving birth to an idea that can snowball into the missing scene from their work, or a brand new story all together.

For others, it is not so much the lyrics as the music itself that can ignite creation. Music sets a tone and tells a story all its own. The lyrics merely tell a certain aspect of that story. Think of all the beats that have been sampled and the various songs that have been created from the same chord progression. Think of the operas and their fanciful scenery that were created from the mind of a composer. There is a unique power in music that can unlock the doors of creativity.

In honor of this, we want to start a weekly short story challenge. We will provide a song, and we encourage our readers to write a short story based on the music or lyrics that they hear. Everyone hears the same song, but the image it produces is different to every listener.

To start this week, we have selected “Wasteland” by 10 years. It came across my Pandora and is a song I’ve loved since college. The intro is incredible, the guitar riff is superb, the tone is haunting and makes you introspective, and the lyrics are incredibly poetic.

(all rights belong to 10 Years, video found on YouTube)

Lyrics:

“Wasteland – 10 Years”

Change my attempt good intentions

Crouched over
You were not there
Living in fear
But signs were not really that scarce
Obvious tears
But I will not
Hide you through this
I want you to help them, please see
The bleeding heart perched on my shirt

Die, withdraw
Hide in cold sweat
Quivering lips
Ignore remorse
Naming a kid, living wasteland
This time you’ve tried
All that you can turning you red

Change my attempt good intentions
Should I, could I
Here we are with your obsession
Should I, could I

Crowned hopeless
The article read living wasteland
This time you’ve tried
All that you can turning you red
but I will not
Hide you through this
I want you to help

Change my attempt good intentions
Should I, could I

Here we are with your obsession
Should I, could I

Heave the silver hollow sliver
Piercing through another victim
Turn and tremble be judgmental
Ignorant to all the symbols
Blind the face with beauty paste
Eventually you’ll one day know

Change my attempt good intentions
Limbs tied, skin tight
Self inflicted his perdition

Should I, could I
Change my attempt good intentions
Should I, could I

What does this song stir in you? If it strikes your fancy, jot down a short story. It doesn’t have to be long, but what do you imagine when you hear this song? Share it with us below and we’ll post it for everyone to see! We hope to hear from you.

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