This is how you squeeze all the “juice” out of a writing prompt.
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- Writing prompt (you can find lots here)
Step 1 – Map out associations
Read the prompt, set the timer for ten minutes, grab a piece of paper and a pen and write out as many related topics and associations as you can until the timer rings. Use single words and short phrases for this, don’t write and essay.
Step 2 – Sensory writing
Write one of the seven senses song writing senses at the top of a piece of paper.
The seven senses are: sight, smell, hearing, touch, taste, body and movement. Body means perception of internal bodily processes e.g. heartbeat. Movement refers to your perception of movement such as a train rocking side to side or dizziness.
Set the timer for 5 minutes.
Think of the place and time mentioned in the prompt and write out as many sensory memories as possible until the timer rings.
Repeat for each of the senses.
Step 3 – Create a character and story
Who’s experiencing these things. Who are they? What’s happening in their life? Why do we the audience care?
Now you have lots of rich material for your song so you don’t have to hunt for words and descriptions when you are creating verses.
As a next step you might try song sketching or just dive into writing the lyric.