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The Most Lifeless Lyric On the Planet: PLEASE Don't Write Another One!

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"The Most Lifeless Lyric On the Planet: PLEASE Don't Write Another One!"


Okay, here it goes:


"The Girl is Gone.™  The Boy comes back to <<an empty apartment | an empty hotel room | retreating tail-lights>> and realizes that he has irretrievably f*cked up his relationship.  (Optionally: insert one-or-more verses during which he reminisces about how great it all started, and/or how wonderful he [innocently] thought that his entire rest-of-his-life was going to be.)  Usually, the Girl attaches some form of goodbye-note – to the front door, to the [red, of course ...] [pickup, of course ...] [truck, of course ...] that she thought he loved more than he loved her.  And now, the Boy spends the remaining verses [with or without "booze, of course ..."] feeling sorry for himself, and nothing more.


Key Point:  It is not "the corn-pone situation" that makes "this story-situation 'lifeless' and therefore uninteresting.  Rather, it is "the complete lack of story."


The entire third-paragraph of this post was – and is – "nothing more than a story-setup."  It serves only to describe a conflict that has occurred in the recent past.  (A "past-perfect(!) participle."  She isn't going ... she's gone!  A fait accompli.)


"The story ... if(!!) there is one ... begins here."  The protagonist (narrator) is thrust into a conflicting situation.  (And, of course, so is the Girl.  It's up to you, the Storyteller, whether you bring her on-stage or not, or if you refer to her more-obliquely.)  This is the starting point of story: it is not a story, by itself.


A story begins to take place when a character in the story a-c-t-s, and does so in such a way that "there is no turning back."  (Or, the character is seen making an irrevocable decision to begin to act.)  From this moment forward, the character's life will not be the same, and it is the character himself who committed himself to that change of course.


There is, also, "one more k-e-y player" to consider in this crazy songwriting game:  "the audience member who is listening to your song!"


In the end, a compelling song is not about the fictional characters who are supposed to be involved in it.  No, the song is about the listener, (him|her)self!  (S)He is the person who must identify with one or more of the characters, who must identify with the situation and with the response that the character makes, and who is therefore swept forward by your purely-fictional creation:  "Yeah!  I get it!  They're talking about me!"

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