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”
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*
I have the claim to fame of seeing Concrete Blonde open for The Pretenders about a thousand years ago.
I finally got to see them live during… I guess it was the GROUP THERAPY album. So good.
“Things you forget to say will haunt you.” There’s gold in them there lyrics!
“Don’t you ever tame your demons, but keep’s on a leash” (Hozier, Arsonist’s Lullaby)
Funny, can’t see the link, can’t post it either; again: https://thestoryhive.wordpress.com/2018/01/14/the-hell-of-traitors/
Great job. I felt as confused as your main character must have felt!
Thank you, Vanessa
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”
I was just listening to Concrete Blonde earlier today. Weird!
Great idea BTW!
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!
I have some Black Sabbath for ya
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.
“By a knight of ghosts and shadows, I summon’d am to tourney”. It’s been set to music a lot, so it counts!
“Hello darkness, my old friend ~ I’ve come to talk with you again…” Sound of Silence
The Breakfast Club is one of my favorite movies. I like what you did here!
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! 😀
Good way to use the song and movie.
[…] wendig prompt – song lyrics […]
Love this challenge!
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…
So, I was immediately captivated by this and hammered out this piece in just a few minutes. I’ve literally never done this before, so this must’ve been a good one! This is raw and unedited, so please be kind… hope you like it. https://goo.gl/uF1MuC
Pretty sure this could be a Black Mirror episode. I enjoyed this piece and all of its implications!
Thank you! I take that as high praise!
It is often hard to tell what’s real.
Sam Hunt lyrics have always been my favorite, here’s my take! https://lallalove.wordpress.com/2018/01/15/flash-fiction-challenge-song-lyric-story/
So sad. What song was this?
“How do the angels get to sleep when the devil leaves the porch light on.”
So the story is the retelling of the story of “Iron Man” the smash hit song from Black Sabbath. The entire song is the real influence but the specific quote that fulfills the prompt best is: “ He was turned to steel, In the great magnetic field, Where he traveled time , For the future of mankind”
Clap, follow and share if you enjoy!
It’s terrible to be the author of your own (and loved ones’) destruction.
Yeah, revenge very rarely has clean results. Thanks for reading!
When I first heard Mama’s Broken Heart by Miranda Lambert all I thought was it was how it perfectly described a bloodrager awakening to their powers. Thus I present Mama’s Broken Hearted Bloodrager at http://slwhshorts.blogspot.com/2018/01/mamas-broken-hearted-bloodrager.html
I’ve totally felt like this before! Good job with the prompt.
[…] week’s Chuck Wending Flash Fiction Challenge is entitled Song Lyric Story. Our instructions are to take something from a song that has caught our eye and turn it into a […]
998 words, inspired by “Ana Ng” by They Might Be Giants. The line is “Why is the bench still warm? Who had been there?”
I wish I had thought to use a they might be giants lyric! now a bunch are flooding by; “Replicant’ has some good ones, along with ‘you’re on fire’ and ‘answer’ !
I love this. Such an amazing story. Your character is vivid and his sense of longing, but also his sense of peace. Great use of the prompt.
Inspired by Ani DiFranco:
“Your bones have been my bedframe
and your flesh has been my pillow
and I’ve been waiting for sleep
to offer up the deep
with both hands”
I love Ani DiFranco. I saw her in concert once in Virginia and it was awesome. Also, your story was so creepy. I left a comment on your blog!
Here’s my story, using a lyric from Foo Fighters “Everlong”. It’s a teesy bit racy. https://lunarwriter.com/flash-fiction-song-lyric-story/
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!
My entry, “For Todd,” is inspired by the lines “I looked both ways before I pushed him on the track|I heard a scream, a crack, and I never looked back” from the Fun Lovin’ Criminals song “Southside.” (A line from Metallica’s “Fuel” also got in there; see if you can find it!)
Nice. I left a comment on your blog.
My entry, “In Control” is inspired by “In Control” from Greensky Bluegrass, specifically the line: Though I am not without weakness I will define what lies ahead; I’m not out of control . 1123 this time (a little over)
After much consideration, I somehow recalled the line “Albedo. zero and three nine” from Vangelis’ eponymous song (and album), “Albedo 0.39.” And I spawned a scifi flash. Its title is obviously “Albedo 0.39”.
Here’s my go at the challenge. I had fun writing it. Never done flash fiction before. I’m enjoying reading all the entries. Cheers, all. 🙂
This was fun! “Ghost Towns” by Radical Face inspired my flash titled “Fire in Every Footstep”.
“Hello, darkness, my old friend, I’ve come to talk to you again…” Cimmerian, part 1 https://goldennib.blogspot.com/2018/01/cimmerian-part-1.html
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
[…] This is super late. But it’s inspired by Chuck Wendig’s blog post. […]
“My heart skips stones
Your voice breaks bones”
-“Island Cottage,” sea oleena
This is SO late, but I’ve always wanted to write something using these lyrics. I wasn’t sure where else to go with it, so I guess it’s unfinished!