Summer is my time to catch up on writing. During the school year, I would focus so much on homework, studying and writing essays that I rarely got the chance to write for myself. The things I wrote, I rarely enjoyed. My passion lies with fiction, not writing about someone else’s work of fiction.
But writing is hard. It’s hard to finish that 400-something paged manuscript, to even write about the same story over a span of so many pages. And when you only have 2-4 months to write this manuscript before going back to the same old essays and such, you feel the pressure, the race against time.
To give myself a break from writing novels and to expand my “writing portfolio”, I used to write a short story based on a song that I have come to enjoy or that I can’t stop listening to during that summer aka my “Song of the Summer”.
For any aspiring writers like me, or anyone who enjoys the craft of writing, I want to share this writing prompt with you and give you something to write about! Especially for anyone currently struggling with writer’s block, give your mind a break and try this short prompt. Then, when you come back to writing whatever you were writing, you’ll have a fresh mind.
So here are the–for lack of a better word–instructions to writing this prompt.
(And feel free to change these “instructions” to your liking. The goal isn’t to follow them but to write and [hopefully!] complete something to add to your portfolio.)
Choose your “Song of the Summer”. It doesn’t have to be a popular song on the radio and it doesn’t necessarily have to be recently released either. It’s a song that you can’t stop listening, a song that defines your 2019 summer.
One year, I chose Within Temptation’s cover of Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness”.
Another year, I chose Shawn Mendes’s song, “Treat You Better”.
If I were to write one this year, I would probably choose Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello’s “Senorita” because it is so catchy and I can’t stop listening to it (but this year, my focus is on my blog and writing a novel so I might have to pass on this one).
(I do highly recommend you give these songs a listen if you haven’t heard them already).
After listening to the song over and over again, begin to plan or create a scene in your mind. Use whatever writing/creative process you do to come up with a story. I look at it like I’m creating a scene for a movie or a short film.
Once you have the story outline plotted out, write it. If you prefer listening to music as you write, listen to the song for inspiration. And don’t be afraid to add your own dialogue. This is your story.
Now this is optional but a good challenge. I tend to write this story twice, from the perspective of two main characters. I do this because I prefer writing in first person so it allows me to get inside the head and thoughts of more than one character. I also tend to choose two contrasting characters because then their “side” of the story and their thoughts are complete opposites. I feel like it makes the story more interesting to read and write, because, after all, there are two sides to every story.
It doesn’t matter how long the story is. Mine tend to be 5-10 pages and single-spaced with both perspectives.
And you’re done!
I hope you enjoy this writing prompt! Let me know in the comments below what
“Song of the Summer” you would/will do for this activity or what
you’re currently listening to!