Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I like stories. I've always liked stories. Literature, symbolism, meaning... just give me a good story, please. And books are fine, good, wonderful, but what I really love is a really good, really top-notch song. COUNTRY, PLEASE.

Because on the whole, country songs have some of the best writing and the best stories of any type of storytelling that I've come across. A love story, a tale of grief or redemption or heck, anything, is told in four minutes. And told well. I could probably think of about ten songs off the top of my head that fit the bill, but the one I've heard most recently is Rodney Atkin's new song, "Farmer's Daughter."

Storytelling Lesson #1 -
Start at the start. No offense to How I Met Your Mother, but we don't need FIVE YEARS OF BACKSTORY. The story begins when he takes a job that is the catalyst for him meeting the woman he later marries. Whether you like country music or not, there's a great lesson here in starting the story where it actually begins. Sometimes leaping headlong into the "action" of a story can confuse the reader/viewer (namely: me. I'm in a perpetual state of confusion.) At the same time though, you don't need THAT MUCH backstory. A little goes a long way, and this song strikes the perfect balance as far as beginnings go.

Also: the playlist for my current WIP can be found here. Sadly, no country songs except for one Taylor Swift song that is SORT OF country.