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Author Topic: 13-Line Challenge: Inspired by Music -- Discussion Thread
Disgruntled Peony
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It's been awhile since we had one of these, so I think we're overdue. I've given it some thought, and I think it would be fun to do something a little more free-form than we have in the past.

Your challenge, dear writers, is to choose a piece of music you find inspiring and glean a story idea from it. Write the first thirteen lines of that story and post them in the Inspired By Music entry thread. (If you're having trouble picking a song and are looking for ideas, I'm sure people will be willing to provide suggestions here. I may make a list of potential songs in a future post just for kicks.)

As usual, Axeminister's challenges serve as the template for this one, because he did an excellent job. (I did play around with the formatting a bit, because I'm in that kind of mood.)

THE RULES:

  • Please create a title. (Titles can be difficult, thus, a challenge.)
  • List the song title and band/musician that inspired you. If possible, provide a link to the song so that interested parties can listen to it (Youtube tends to be good for that).
  • Number your entries (ex: #1) below.
  • Each individual writer is free to make between one and three entries.
  • Don't use any actual song lyrics in your lines unless you know for a fact and can prove that they're not subject to copyright.
  • The contest starts today, April 27th, 2017 and runs until Friday, May 12th (because Friday seemed like a good day to end it).
  • Be sure to click the "full reply form" box below before measuring your 13-line entry. That box is 13 lines long. If you see a scroll bar pop up in your window, you've most likely gone too far.


Voting goes from May 13th - May 19th.

Scoring works thusly:

Vote for your favorite three.
  • 1st place gets 3 points.
  • 2nd place gets 2 points.
  • 3rd place gets 1 point.
Short crits are welcome.

I'll open a separate thread for entries; I'd prefer that we keep all discussions and questions in this thread.

[ April 27, 2017, 06:18 PM: Message edited by: Disgruntled Peony ]

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extrinsic
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Great Prompt. One caution: song lyrics cannot be used for the entry content, if those are under copyright, due to songs, like poems, are usually brief and any lyrics content use violates Hatrack posting rules, infringes creator intellectual property rights. Common domain lyrics, though, can be used, pre-1923 content, by and large.

No matter, an entry might imitate a "voice" or dramatic situation or both of a song's lyrics. Say, Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight"? Alanis Morisette's "Ironic"? Most anything pop cool? Yada.

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telflonmail
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Any musical genre?
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walexander
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dp or E

is it the full reply that gives you accurate 13 line?

I thought it was the small form reply at the bottom that it was suppose to fit in. Big difference in space between the two. Please clarify.

thanks

w.

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extrinsic
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The quick reply textarea input setting is 10 rows, 50 columns, 500 matrix cells. The full form is 13 rows, 65 columns, 845 cells. The latter is Standard Manuscript Format's matrix of monospaced 12 point typeface, like Courier New, letter size page 8 1/2 by 11 inches, one inch margins, 25 lines per page, half a page of content, half a page sink, 13 lines of content.

A word processor page can be set to SMF, compose in it, and count thirteen lines. Several other ways to count lines, like from a Reply To page and delete all non-content and empty lines, then count lines.

I use whatever method of the moment suits the situation.

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Disgruntled Peony
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quote:
Originally posted by extrinsic:
Great Prompt. One caution: song lyrics cannot be used for the entry content, if those are under copyright, due to songs, like poems, are usually brief and any lyrics content use violates Hatrack posting rules, infringes creator intellectual property rights. Common domain lyrics, though, can be used, pre-1923 content, by and large.

No matter, an entry might imitate a "voice" or dramatic situation or both of a song's lyrics. Say, Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight"? Alanis Morisette's "Ironic"? Most anything pop cool? Yada.

Thanks for the tip! I'll add that to the rules.
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Disgruntled Peony
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quote:
Originally posted by telflonmail:
Any musical genre?

Yes. You pick the song(s).
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H Reinhold
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Sounds like a great idea! I have a few songs in mind already.
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Grumpy old guy
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I have a trilogy WIP inspired by the song Old Souls by Paul Williams for the movie, Phantom of the Paradise. The problem is the opening of all three books don't reference anything other than character and setting, and certainly not anything about 'soul mates'.

So, while the song may have inspired the story, and while it may be ever-present as a part of the narrative, it doesn't feature directly.

Phil.

[ April 28, 2017, 09:04 AM: Message edited by: Grumpy old guy ]

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Disgruntled Peony
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quote:
Originally posted by Grumpy old guy:
I have a trilogy WIP inspired by the song Old Souls by Paul Williams for the movie, Phantom of the Paradise. The problem is the opening of all three books don't reference anything other than character and setting, and certainly not anything about 'soul mates'.

So, while the song may have inspired the story, and while it may be ever-present as a part of the narrative, it doesn't feature directly.

Phil.

The inspiration is the important part, but I can see where you're coming from. It might be fun to explore something new, in any case.
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Grumpy old guy
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Success! I got an idea for a story last night. A flash piece that might make Milton proud.

Phil.

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extrinsic
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A peculiarity of songs -- many, if not most, portray victimization tableaus and gripes about one something or other. By and large, they also lack setting details. What events those entail are more often more implied than concrete depictions. Characters, too, are often ambiguous representations. Horatioan satire is also far more prevalent than Juvenalean or Menippean.

The recent realization about de se sarcasm for satire of Robert Anthony Siegel, less of that in song than a proud type of insincere self-deprecation -- the dysfunctional type that is a zero-sum scenario of caretaker self-promotion of long-suffering martyrdom's heroism at the expense of care recipient demotion, and toxic sarcasm and external blame assignment. Many songs do depict dramatic conflict, stakes, as it were, though fall short in the accessible complication arena, dramatic motivation -- and are largely rants against the human condition, like this post is. I suppose that is want-problem expression of a minor degree. Most, if not all, though, do express and evoke emotional disequilibrium.

My song repertoire, extensive as it is, has yet to bear fruit for this challenge and my ambitions for it. Proactivism, workable complication, event, setting, and character inspirations? Not too much to ask, is it? The few songs so far identified that do contain those existents and creative drama cruxes -- well, in-apropos of the intents and designs. Some potentials from a synthesis of this above and Alanis Morisette's "Ironic," suitable for proactive de se satire-sarcasm-irony. Though a radical departure from the real and true meaning of the song, entails a germ worthy for inspiration -- Such is the life, of writing's situational and practical ironies, if not life itself.

[ April 29, 2017, 02:27 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Disgruntled Peony
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quote:
Originally posted by extrinsic:
My song repertoire, extensive as it is, has yet to bear fruit for this challenge and my ambitions for it. Proactivism, workable complication, event, setting, and character inspirations? Not too much to ask, is it?

Well, do keep in mind, you don't have to get everything from the song. [Wink] The key is to find a song that inspires you, one that catches your interest and resonates with your inner writer. Chances are good the song won't be a complete story in and of itself, but extrapolating is half the fun.
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walexander
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I'm in,

This challenge was well timed for me because I've had an idea for a story pushing at the back of my mind for some time disrupting other work. I put it off and put it off, worried it would be too distracting from more pressing writing that needed to be done. But luck should have it I came down with a bad flu and my schedule opened up. Too funny.

I commonly use music to push my imagination and keep myself in certain frames of mind. I've got the start through the first couple pages, but I'm stalled because of POV. This is where the whole story needs careful consideration, not just the first thirteen, but either way, I believe I have a contender for the challenge. I'll post in a day or two.

Looking forward to reading everyone else's.
(I think even KDW should get into this one. It's a good prompt.)

W.

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Grumpy old guy
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Have just been doodling on my whiteboard and have concluded the tone of my story is likely to be as a satirical farce.

I'm also researching setting; Milton's Paradise Lost has such poetry as to make you cry. It's also out of copyright.

Phil.

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extrinsic
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quote:
Originally posted by Disgruntled Peony:
quote:
Originally posted by extrinsic:
My song repertoire, extensive as it is, has yet to bear fruit for this challenge and my ambitions for it. Proactivism, workable complication, event, setting, and character inspirations? Not too much to ask, is it?

Well, do keep in mind, you don't have to get everything from the song. [Wink] The key is to find a song that inspires you, one that catches your interest and resonates with your inner writer. Chances are good the song won't be a complete story in and of itself, but extrapolating is half the fun.
What's the fun of a challenge without excess worried meditations that, soon or late, achieve closure? ("Closure Principle" changingminds.org)

Fascinating essay about the relationships between closure and dramatic tension, the prose sense of tension. For a thirteen-lines challenge, for instance, create tension through preparation and suspension segments, that a later segment accommodates a partial satisfaction, or partial closure, yet leave total tension unrequited. For that matter, the changingminds.org site offers many insights for artful prose composition methods.

[ May 01, 2017, 02:43 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Disgruntled Peony
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This has been an interesting challenge for me thus far, simply because a lot of the songs that catch my interest seem excessively dark or morbid. On the one hand, darkness and morbidity can pull characters toward conflict, which is good. On the other hand, I want a good variety of songs and story ideas so I don't get in a rut and try to write the same style of story three times. Variety is good, too. [Razz]
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Grumpy old guy
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Commonly, creative and artistic types are tortured souls. To be good at whatever our chosen field is, we must have suffered. Right now I am happier than I have ever been, but for nearly 50 years I have had to fight personal demons that have cost me everything 'normal' people aspire to. Without those trials and suffering I could not understand the human condition as intimately as I do.

Phil.

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tesknota
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Thanks for posing this challenge to us, Disgruntled Peony!

I couldn't think of any songs that I wanted to use at first, having read some cringe-worthy "songfics" during my younger days. Now I've come up with one, but it's not in English. Would a translation suffice? =)

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Disgruntled Peony
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quote:
Originally posted by tesknota:
Thanks for posing this challenge to us, Disgruntled Peony!

I couldn't think of any songs that I wanted to use at first, having read some cringe-worthy "songfics" during my younger days. Now I've come up with one, but it's not in English. Would a translation suffice? =)

I don't see why not.

Random sidenote: I've found it easier if I pick songs that suggest a character more than a plotline, personally. When the song lays out the plotline too plainly, I seem to lose interest more quickly. (It's probably because one of my old roleplaying forums used to make us pick theme songs for our characters. I don't expect this to be a universal truth or anything.)

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Grumpy old guy
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I've found that the majority of my favourite songs are ones that prompt ethical and moral conundrums. There are no resolutions, just questions that are asked.

Phil.

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tesknota
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I've gone ahead and started us off with an entry! It's 3:12 AM here and apparently I've decided not to sleep tonight...

My story idea has three degrees of separation from the song I chose, so at first glance it looks like the two things aren't at all connected. What I ultimately took away from this song is a vague setting and a mood.

I look forward to reading the rest of the entries!

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extrinsic
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quote:
Originally posted by Grumpy old guy:
I've found that the majority of my favourite songs are ones that prompt ethical and moral conundrums. There are no resolutions, just questions that are asked.

Phil.

Nor satisfactions -- can't get no . . . Questions rhetorical? What about Postmodernism's core convention of self-aware questions of and challenges to presupposed notions of moral propriety? A dawn of post Postmodernism might actually answer rhetorical questions and challenges posed, rather than rhetorically assert moral laws. If Modernism's convention is self-enlightened struggles with morals, Postmodernism's self-aware moral yada, and Realism's self-consciousness of morals, what new self-liminality might be post Postmodernism's definitive moral convention? Hmm.
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Grumpy old guy
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So, Disgruntled Peony, where is your submission? I once held a writing challenge where you suggested (rather forcefully) that I participate in my own challenge. I now do the same for you.

Phil.

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Disgruntled Peony
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quote:
Originally posted by Grumpy old guy:
So, Disgruntled Peony, where is your submission? I once held a writing challenge where you suggested (rather forcefully) that I participate in my own challenge. I now do the same for you.

Phil.

I fully intend to participate, I promise. [Wink] I'll have at least one entry in by the end of the day. I have three potential songs picked out, and have been letting the story ideas percolate. My mom's visiting from out of state this week, so I've been a bit distracted. Today is a good day to write, though. [Smile]
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Grumpy old guy
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Okay! And, as an addendum, mums can be very distracting.

Phil.

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Disgruntled Peony
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On the face of it, the opening lines of my first entry don't seem to have much connection to the song that inspired them at all, which makes me hesitant to post them. I'll give it a couple of hours and see if I can find a better starting point for the tale. I really want to write the story as a whole, though, and will likely do so over the next few months.

(I'm not always fond of love stories, but I've always enjoyed the relationship and interpersonal dynamics between the two protagonists of this story. My problem is that my first instinct for this story was to establish the viewpoint character and some hints at the setting, which leaves the other character to show up far later in the scene than the opening 13 lines will allow.)

[ May 11, 2017, 01:45 PM: Message edited by: Disgruntled Peony ]

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walexander
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I liked this challenge so I threw in a second one. Just a note: The videos have nothing to do with the stories, just the songs.

Cheers to everyone who enters! My drink's held up for you! There's courage in just the attempt.

To you!

W.

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Disgruntled Peony
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Today's the last day, but there's still time to enter! [Big Grin] Feel free to jump in, it's good fun.
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H Reinhold
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Sorry, it looks like I'm not going to make it. I had planned to enter, and wasted time playing around with several ideas earlier this week, but I haven't managed to get my act together.

However, today's deadline did not pass me by completely: in a scramble to piece something together, I managed to draft a whole story of 2,500 words since this morning. Not too bad a story, even. Just a pity it wasn't related to the song I intended, or to any other song. Whoops.

Are non-entrants still allowed to vote?

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Disgruntled Peony
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quote:
Originally posted by H Reinhold:
Are non-entrants still allowed to vote?

Absolutely. [Smile]
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walexander
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It will be hard for any of us to vote so few people.
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Disgruntled Peony
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quote:
Originally posted by walexander:
It will be hard for any of us to vote so few people.

It's all good. People who didn't participate in the challenge are still allowed to vote (and are, in fact, encouraged to do so). We've had similar turnouts before. We'll make do. [Smile]
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walexander
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sorry last night i was working on changes for the full story on my phone and it caused a repost. i deleted it.
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extrinsic
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The six entries for which I'm eligible to vote are under evaluation for emotional equilibrium displacement, complication and conflict introduction, whether implied or declared or otherwise, narrative point of view consistency, and, overall, forward dramatic movement.
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Disgruntled Peony
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Today is the last day listed for voting, so please try and get your votes in, everyone! [Smile] There's only two complete sets of votes listed in the Entries thread. If we don't get enough responses by the end of the night, I may extend the voting for another week so that people have a chance to get their votes in. I would appreciate it if everyone who participated in the challenge votes, and welcome any other members of the forum to vote as well.

quote:
Originally posted by walexander:
tie 2nd place -
Your voice
They said it does (though leeway for non-prose)

tie 4th place - half point each
The Metamorphosis of Fire
The Ascent of a Man

walexander, I would appreciate it if you follow the 1st/2nd/3rd place format and leave your vote in the Entries thread. That will make it easier for me to tally things up when the time comes. [Wink]
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Disgruntled Peony
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Results will be tabulated this evening. If someone wants to get a last minute vote in during the meantime, they have a five to seven hour cushion. XD
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