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How Do You Take An Idea And Write As Many Different Phrases As You Can So I Have More Chances For Rhyming/assonance?


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Here's one thing that works well for me, when writing anything at all:

Remove the "Delete" key from your (computer) keyboard. Remove the eraser from your pencil.

"Writing" consists of "re-"writing. That's just the way that it is. Therefore, clearly separate the task of "cranking stuff out, just to get it out of your head," from the subsequent process of editing and selection.

As you go into the second step of that process, don't actually throw anything out. Copy the good stuff to a new document, then carefully file-away both old and new. Just keep polishing, adding page to page but never throwing anything away. You can strike through text, in any word-processor as I have done here. If you edit with a pencil, make a very light line.

One of the very best books I've read about writing is Stephen King's On Writing, and he actually shows you a "rough draft" of a short story. I was struck by how very ordinary it was; even clumsy. But then he refined it. The final version (while still not an outstanding story), was substantially better than what first came out. And the point was, if you just "encountered" that story, in a bookstore or whatever, you would only have opportunity to "encounter" the finished piece. You would have no way to see any part of the process that led to it. And so, when you wrote your own first draft, you might just crumple it up and say, "Stephen King would never write any crap like that!" Which Stephen himself disproved by writing a pretty "crappy" (if I say so...) first draft.

Most of the actual creative process is entirely invisible in the finished work.

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Here's one thing that works well for me, when writing anything at all:

Remove the "Delete" key from your (computer) keyboard. Remove the eraser from your pencil.

"Writing" consists of "re-"writing. That's just the way that it is. Therefore, clearly separate the task of "cranking stuff out, just to get it out of your head," from the subsequent process of editing and selection.

As you go into the second step of that process, don't actually throw anything out. Copy the good stuff to a new document, then carefully file-away both old and new. Just keep polishing, adding page to page but never throwing anything away. You can strike through text, in any word-processor as I have done here. If you edit with a pencil, make a very light line.

One of the very best books I've read about writing is Stephen King's On Writing, and he actually shows you a "rough draft" of a short story. I was struck by how very ordinary it was; even clumsy. But then he refined it. The final version (while still not an outstanding story), was substantially better than what first came out. And the point was, if you just "encountered" that story, in a bookstore or whatever, you would only have opportunity to "encounter" the finished piece. You would have no way to see any part of the process that led to it. And so, when you wrote your own first draft, you might just crumple it up and say, "Stephen King would never write any crap like that!" Which Stephen himself disproved by writing a pretty "crappy" (if I say so...) first draft.

Most of the actual creative process is entirely invisible in the finished work.

Good idea.

Actually I've found that the computer (for me) is not so helpful for lyric writing. Yes you can save drafts and so on, but I've recently moved back to using pen and paper (after using a computer for around 3 years) and I've found that it just works better. It's easier to work out half-formed ideas that way. I still jot ideas down on computer if I'm using the computer when the ideas occur to me ... but pen and paper seems more organic. It's also a lot easier to pick up a notepad I was jotting ideas down in five years ago and review it ... see how I feel about some of the unused ideas now.

Write and write and write. A lot of it won't be good, but it's the editing process that makes things good. Fill a notepad with ideas. You might come back to it later and find something that works with a new idea you've just started working on.

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A method I use all the time is to sing the song in jabberish-singing. I do this some times, and often it results in both cool melody variations and text hooks. Then, when I get the text hooks in, I start breaking out the story - often in a conceptual way first. A lot of this happens off-paper/keyboard/tape while I sleep/bicycle/bus. Then it's a lot of rewriting as Mike says.

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  • 1 year later...

I think rhyming is overrated. More important is meaning, rhythm, cadence IMO. Holding oneself to rhyming narrows the possiblities to the extreme.

Should you try to rhyme? Of course. But not to the point that it alters what you're trying to express.

JMO, of course.

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