Inspiration from Music

My kids love to listen to music. Country is my son’s favorite genre and I’m pleased because I typically like the messages behind country songs: God, America, dating, falling in love, breaking up, getting married, friends…you get the picture. My daughter listens to all the poppy boy bands and pseudo celebrity singers like One Direction, 5 Seconds of Summer, R5, and Little Mix. These artists are more annoying and generic to the over 40 crowd, and yet generally harmless with shamefully catchy songs.Music Lyrics

I’ve just finished Book 2 in my Kiss and Tell series and now I have to summarize the entire book into a blurb that will entice readers to purchase the book and spend their valuable time reading. For me, writing the book’s blurb is sometimes more difficult than writing the entire book. Every time I start to write a blurb, I think, “I can’t whittle an entire story arc into 300 words. It’s impossible!” And then I think about music.

If a songwriter can write a song about a lifetime in a two-to-four minute song, surely I can summarize a seventy thousand word book into 300 words. A great example of this is Tim McGraw’s Don’t Take the Girl. Or Collin Raye’s If You Get There Before I Do. Or Joe Nichols’ I’ll Wait For You. Go ahead and have a listen, but I’m warning you, you’re going to need a tissue (or at least I did).

ChristyHayes_AKissByTheBook_200pxAfter listening to these songs and having a good cry, I need to get down to business and write the blurb to my latest novel, A Kiss by the Book. Because if a songwriter can make me cry in 2-4 minutes, I should be able to make someone want to read my book in 300 words. What songs inspire you writers out there?

photo credit: Dyanna Hyde via photopin cc

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About Christy Hayes

A wife, a mother and a writer of romantic women's fiction. I love dogs, exercise and cable news.

Posted on March 3, 2014, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. I don’t listen to music when I write; too distracting. But I refer to musicians and songs in the books I write. It’s a lot of fun to give a character different musical tastes, not mine necessarily, but ones that fit that character’s personality.

    • I could never listen to music as I write either. I need silence so I can hear the voices in my head. Songs inspire me when I’m trying to write my blurbs…in silence!

  2. I feel your pain with regard to writing a blurb! I participated in the women’s fiction pitch session on Twitter and I couldn’t believe they wanted a pitch in 140 characters. Personally I think it’s not really possible to entice anyone with such a short pitch but that’s my opinion.

  3. As a reader, I’m 50/50 on cover vs. blurb. If it’s got a cool cover, I’ll read the reviews. Not necessarily the blurb. The other day I read a great blurb and the book was atrocious.

    I think a good cover with average blurb will convince me to buy.

    “Heroin Addict Sister” by Elizabeth Cook may be the most awesome storytelling I’ve ever heard.

  4. I can’t listen to music when I write either, but whenever we travel, my DH has the country radio station playing. And the music and lyrics are do inspiring, I end up jotting down possible titles and bits of story scenes. The music and traveling combined are simply inspiring.

    As far as blurbs, I only write them when inspiration strikes, otherwise it’s too frustrating. 🙂 Love your cover, Christy, and can’t wait to read your new book!

  5. Songs from musicals are a good example of how to develop a character within the short space of a song. I realized this when listening to the soundtrack of AIDA by Elton John and Tim Rice (probably my second-favorite musical after LES MIS). But my favorite example of storytelling in a song comes from “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” by The Police: “Wet bus stop / She’s waiting / His car is warm and dry.” It’s a tragedy in 11 words.

  6. That cover is great!

    I have a hard time summarizing stuff. Especially if I’m face-to-face with someone, verbalizing. Excerpts and blurbs are difficult. Good luck! I know you can do it.

  7. Oh, and OneRepublic is inspiring to me. Their song “All My Secrets” begins:

    I need another story
    Something to get off my chest
    My life gets kinda boring
    Need something that I can confess

    ‘Til all my sleeves are stained red
    From all the truth that I’ve said…

    This to me speaks of writing (and other passages of theirs do, too). I can’t at the moment remember which famed author was credited with saying something like, “Writing is easy. All you do is cut open your veins and bleed on the page.” So the sleeves line up there gets me every time.

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