View Full Version : Song writing form!

07-31-2008, 04:19 PM
Vladimir Propp was a Russian folklorist who theorized that all Russian folk tales followed a particular format. This was a while ago and has since been "disproved" but it still provides a stepping stone in the study of literature. (Which isn't my field so I don't really know much about it. :))

He puts it out into a series of 31 steps. They can be viewed here. (http://www.northern.edu/hastingw/propp.htm) (This is my favorite site for it because of the hott pink background.) Right now, I'm in the middle of a song for a friend (makes a great gift!) and I'm using the form to guide the narration as a regular, possibly overly-detailed story. Then, I'm condensing it into "the straight scoop" with the most colorful details and pulling out some verse. My narration has changed a little bit in this process, but no one else sees the first notes. If you're careful, the end product has a wonderful flow of narration that builds, relaxes and builds some more, and you can leave your listener hanging on the edge of their seat as they wait to hear what happens.

It is surprisingly harder than it looks, but it is so far a really fun challenge. You can come up with something as silly or as serious as you want.

If you have a little writing block, then write me an exciting and triumphant tale and post it here!

07-31-2008, 10:22 PM
Thanks for this - I'm taking a creative writing class next academic year and as I haven't written anything for a long time, feel a little misplaced. I've decided to have a go at songwriting to try and get motivated and your ideas will help my students too, I'm sure.

08-05-2008, 07:44 PM
Let me know how it goes!

One thing I'm working through right now is compressing the story down into singular, clear lines. All while keeping the narrative timing sounding "proper." I think this is where the talent comes in handy. ;)