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CSN Songwriting Challenge #4--People
Drawing from our idea bank, for our next suggestion

We have been given a writing prompt:  PEOPLE

If you have your own songwriting approach than you can follow that. 
Or, if you need or would like a walk through you can follow the steps below.
Note:  This is not THE way to write a song, but A way. 



Invite the Holy Spirit into your writing project.  You may even feel His presence and if you do, go with Him where he takes you.  Look at things he points to, consider things he calls to your attention, and enjoy your time together with the Creator of the universe!

Write for 10 minutes on your topic.  For this one, talk to God about people.  Let your thoughts express themselves naturally, and unfettered for now.  The thoughts need not be connected, or full sentences or are just brainstorming in regard to your theme.

If you get stuck, here is a list of senses to get you going again:

For example, are you reminiscing about a person, what things did you observe, with your eyes, with your nose, with your mouth, with your ears, with your heart, What was your spacial relationship to the person--close proximity, far away from a distance.  Maybe the things you smell in the environment blend with the smell of the person or contrast with the sight you see at a distance--maybe you smell roses, but the person is homeless and unbathed, you can take us there.  Maybe your person jumped in a swimming pool and the chlorine water splashed in your mouth.  Maybe your person is shuffling or dancing or washing their car--what sounds do you hear?  Or as you observe, what metaphors can you explore that incorporate the senses to express what you experience in the emotions.

     Spacial--in relation to your surroundings
     Internal--emotions, pulse, heart rate, tears

To this I will add the dimension of the
Spiritual--what you sense in the Spirit--leading, prompting, discernment between right and wrong etc.

Step 2
Observe and see what themes are emerging.
-highlighting repeated words or thoughts...or contrasting words and thoughts.
-Note where your mind goes in another direction (a new theme)

Has a prominent thought emerged, something that holds everything together or that everything else stems from?
--Set that as your Main Theme that will probably develop into your chorus.

Is there one line or word or phrase that stands out in a way that makes you want to repeat it?
--That's probably your hook and will most likely form the basis for your chorus, where your main theme will likely land.

What major groups of thoughts came from your main theme
--Set these as Sub themes that will likely form the major segments of your song--verses, chorus bridge.

Does one of those sub themes take you to a new level of thinking or a new understanding, or a better perspective?
--Set that as a Bridge Sub theme
--set the rest as your Verses

Note that your song may not have all these pieces and that is ok.  Consider the popular folk song scarborough Fair

See how the hook is used and the repetition in the verses holds it together.  There are various structural forms songs take.  Let what comes feed what shape your song takes.

Does anything seem like it is just really different than anything maybe it belongs in  another song
--it probably does.  Set that aside in a note book that you keep with you for entering song ideas.

You probably have some other extra thoughts floating around that are in keeping with your theme taat you may yet draw from as you continue.
For the most part, you should begin to you see your song emerging!

Note:  You can either do this step alone or if you would like to submit your brainstorming and get a little help observing it post it in this thread and I or someone else can help you.  I find that often when folks shoot out their ideas there is a natural organization to it they are not even aware of.


Step 3

Take a look at your thoughts in each sub group. 
These will form the lines for your verses

You will want to develop these so there are the same number for each verse

Don't ignore the natural rhythms of how your thoughts came out when you  were thinking.  You can probably draw from this to establish a meter or foot that suits you for this song so you wont have to work hard to force lines into a meter or foot.  They will kind of fall there almost.

Eventually you will want develop the lines of the verses so there is the same number of lines for all verses
and the corresponding lines of each verse match in length, rhythm and rhyme.
Develop your bridge
Develop your chorus around your hook


Step 4
Compose a tune, if you have not already
This is not my strongest area, so I may see if I can find someone else to provide a tutorial on composing a tune.
But for now, begin with whatever tune you had in your head as you worked your lyrics, if one developed.  I have lots of these and they are usually fairly generic.  But the ideas of the song usually cause them to take their own unique form of some sort different than others I have written.  But my family says they are chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla,  I know I'm improving in this area when they listen and tell me it is pistachio!  Don't let this discourage you if this happens to you.  This will probably be part of your unique self.  I used to listen to Steven Curtis Chapman, Petra, White Heart, they each had their own unique tendencies that emerged over and over in their songs...But I like those things.  And I liked to hear them and the way they would come out in each song. 


Congratulations!  YOUR First Draft is DONE!!!
If you would like, post it to CSN then place a link here to share.
This is a brave step this early on! so you may want to set your song aside for a day and come back to it with a fresh look.  Suddenly things you thought were brilliant may lack luster.  You may realize you used the same word a thousand times and need to look for some synonyms or maybe you used the same word a thousand times but didn't use it as well as you could of.  Maybe it needs to be the first word of every line to make it stand out.  CSN can help you see those kinds of things you don't see yourself.  
It is helpful if you don't allow yourself to get too attached to the song as it is or you will not let it mature as it probably needs to.

Taking care with these minute details may feel tedious or bothersome, maybe even not worth the trouble.  But Little things like that are like putting polish on a car.  It makes the rain roll off and the sun reflect better.  Save your first draft so you can go back and compare and you will see just what I'm talking about!


Note: The step by step of this week will form the basis the a Songwriting Tutorial for this sub forum.
Please share your experiences good or bad with using it so we can improve it.

Thanks for participating,

Called to, "Teach the word of the Lord; sing it to the nations loud and clear."

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