Write Better Lyrics
I'm reading a book right now called Write Better Lyrics (link) that has tips on how to - YOU GUESSED IT - write better lyrics LoLz. I've always enjoyed writing, whether it was for school essays (yes, I liked writing essays), or stream-of-consciousness blog posts. Or, Pokemon fanfics back in the day. Lmao. Sidenote - for those of you that have never read it, Pokemon Master shaped my childhood. It's an epic fanfic based in the Pokemon world, but in a dystopian future. Anyway.
I dove right into the book, but I had to slow down because it's so dense with useful tips and creative writing insights that I felt myself being a bit overwhelmed. The book presents a lot of exercises that you can practice to improve your writing. The first concept that is covered is "Object Writing".
The argument that the author presents is that showing a reader how something feels instead of telling them is more immersive. Our senses receive large amounts of information everyday, and we only process a tiny fraction of this data with our brain. However, the information that we aren't actively aware of still exist in the recesses of our mind, and they can be summoned with the right sensory triggers. As readers, when we read how something smells like cinnamon or that a rug feels soft and furry, we draw upon our own experiences and can more vividly be in the moment with the author.
In addition to the five senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell; we have two additional senses. One is an "organ sense", which is awareness of how things inside our body feel, like how our heart is beating, or how our lungs are out of breath. The second is a "kinesthetic sense", which is how we feel in relation to our surroundings. Feeling seasick, being drunk with blurred vision, or feeling claustrophobic. Free and liberated in an open field, or cramped and squashed in an uncomfortable airplane middle seat.
One of the exercises is to pick a random physical object. A puddle, for example. And then write about it through these seven senses for ten minutes everyday. Use it as a launching pad for any kind of writing - no boundaries. Doesn't have to stick to a single storyline unless you want it to. Doesn't have to be in complete sentences. Write about anything, as long as you are using sensory descriptions.
I'm on Day 2 so far, and it has been fun and challenging. Sometimes I feel like I'm running out of things to write about, and other times I feel like I just don't know a good way to express what's on my mind.
Here was my first 10-minute session. Stopped right when the timer went off.
Feet wet. The damp, slimy feeling of socks made me feel dirty and slightly violated. Cigarette butts and ashes floated on the surface of the murky black and brown puddle as the pittering and pattering of rain started getting louder. The cold drops of water that landed on my face made me notice how warm her hand felt in mine - fingers clasped. The dense smell of Autumn became more pronounced as the leaves grew saturated with water and became a few shades darker.
The surroundings became a blur as we began to run home. The edges of my hood made it hard to see. It felt like I was wearing a helmet. Neck slightly strained because the hood was too small and didn’t have enough slack at the top. Jeans looking like a piece of abstract artwork with spots of dark blue scattered everywhere. The tips of my shoes splashed water as I took each step. I noticed a trail of water being flicked from the tip with each step I took like a toy water gun.
As I ran, looking straight ahead to avoid any other pedestrians, I was suddenly struck by the tall buildings surrounding me. Feeling minuscule, as if zooming out on myself from a third party lens would eventually leave me as a speck on a large painting. Just a small detail.
Horns honking, cars driving by and making splashes as the tires hydroplaned over the miniature man made ponds.
I've enjoyed writing, but I also feel strangely unsatisfied by the results because I'm unable to adequately express what's in my head with words. Practice will improve things though!
I also feel like I get too constrained in a story, or in a specific setting. Need to just let loose and let the words come out without too much thought. Classic over-analytical engineer mentality!
What's next? I plan to keep at this for at least 6 weeks. The next chapter begins talking in depth about similes and metaphors. The differences, how they're powerful, and how to get creative with them.
Considering doing a daily post with each word that I pick for Object Writing, but I feel a little too exposed if I do that. We shall see how I feel about it later!