Flash Fiction Challenge: Song Lyric Story

Okie dokie, hawks and doves, here’s the deal this week:

I want you to pick a song you really, really like. A song that moves you at the lyrical level — THE WORDS REALLY SPEAK TO YOU, WOW, WHOA, JEEZ.

Now, take a slice of those words — a smidgen of the lyrics, a line, a short stanza — and use them as the theme or basis for a bit of flash fiction.

(Example: I’m a huge Concrete Blonde fan — and some of you are sadly asking, “Who?” — and there’s a line in the song “Take Me Home,” where Johnette Napolitano sings, Life is beautiful and terrible and strange. It’s not particularly specific, but I always find that line sums up life pretty well for me, and the world, and people in general, and I could handily write a bit of fiction based on that single bit.)

Length: ~1000 words

Due by: noon EST, Friday the 19th

Post at your online space.

Give us a link to it in the comments below.

54 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: Song Lyric Story”

  1. AHHH CONCRETE BLONDE *Kermit flail* SOMEBODY ELSE WHO LOVES CONCRETE BLONDE *totally misses the point of this post but mostly because so much of my life has been set to a song by CONCRETE BLONDE OMG OMG OMG*

    Wow, I can get a lot inspiration and story ideas out of “Happy Birthday” alone. I might even actually *whispers* get enough sleep to actually DO something with this writing prompt *stops whispering and resumes Kermit flail*

  2. Concrete Blond is a great band! If you don’t know you better look it up. One of my favorite ‘writing’ songs is “still- reprise” by Ben Folds.

    “But it’s only change
    Only everything I know
    Even the things
    That seem still are still changing”

  3. Oh wow — I like the idea of using lyrics as inspiration. I just wrote a story tonight based on a David Coverdale/Jimmy Page collaboration. Only problem is I like it so much I’m going to sit on it a few days and then see if I can market it. Thanks!

  4. The Monkees had a song called “St. Matthew” which used the line “Both the times she smiled, it was a portrait of the sun.” The song doesn’t do much for me, but that line has been the basis for several characters over the years.

      • Aaaww… thank you! I’ve loved that movie for a long, long time! And have written short stories about ‘What Happened On Monday’ and what occurred to the characters after that day… but have wondered what did happen 20 years later… when the song lyric thing came up, it just pushed me hard enough to make me do this flash fiction – and it worked out really well! 😀

  5. I might play your flash fic game, Senor Wendig.

    But I really just wanted to say that Concrete Blonde recorded the best L. Cohen cover ever (Everybody Knows) even with the 832 versions of Hallelujah out there…

  6. https://sketchystormwritesgarbo.tumblr.com/

    I want hair like yours
    hands like yours
    fingers that curl in the cold like yours
    i want eyes to stare
    and to cry
    when i’m feeling scared like you
    this is probably a bit of an northbound look at the lyrics, but when I stood back and studied them, this was the best path I saw. Then again, I am in a morbid mood.
    If you see it, tell me what you think!

  7. Recently..I found a very old mix I had make..back in 2008..I guess. I had actually seen this artist at a little venue in Omaha with a friend. It was amazing to see this skinny kid put down the base line and do much of his concert from his computer..still..the song was epic and it still gives me a smile when I listen to this song from PlayRadioPlay.

    It takes a lot to phase me
    I’m pretty stable, pretty sane
    But I’m looking at my future
    And God, do I have to lose her?

    We share conversations
    On how we’re all just floating
    Through space and nothing matters
    I’m looking for a pattern

    Is it possible to say? Baby, let’s run away
    To the East coast or Seattle, Corpus or San Marcos
    I’ve got a credit card and a reliable car
    Let’s drive to Pennsylvania

    Madi dear, can’t we just disappear
    And take our chances
    On a teenagers’ romances?
    Put our money where our mouth is
    Most of his life had been imaginary. Even his first love was a figment of his imagination. But truth be told Madi was the strong one. She’d gotten him through so much to make his life normal. And now the doctors wanted him to forget about her.

    Obviously, imaginary girlfriends weren’t suppose to get pregnant, but it felt so real at the time and when he showed up with her at the emergency room..it was Joey who ended up in the hospital.
    That was over now. Madi, long and forgotten. He’d found Liv and she was very much alive, getting him the apprentice job at the vegan cafe. Joey was on his way.

    Yes, he’d started as a dishwasher. They even trusted him with the key. Sometimes, he came in at four in the morning to get the day going. Yet, he always came back to Liv who was the guide of his future. After all, she owned the vegan cafe and much wiser than him, seven years older.

    But when he heard the sound from behind the bathroom door, it made his heart sputter. He felt a little dizzy. Perhaps not quite conscious, as his stringy hair came around the golden whiskers of his face. He felt he might shit himself to cleanse what might be.

    Yet, no place to run. Not like the times before when life got hard and he felt abandoned and used by his mother’s boyfriends.

    He’d put roots down at the old flat above the Vegan cafe. It was finally real this time. He would be someone’s father.

    Word Count – 265

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