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Tip Tuesday #135

Tip Tuesday features writers' tips on craft, research, querying, blogging, marketing, inspiration, and more. If you'd like to send in a tip, please e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com.

I have another great tip from MG/YA writer Melanie Woods. Melanie's past tips include #127 and #133, which deal with character development and voice, respectively.  Here's her newest!

The next time there's a major emotional scene in your story, write a song in your MC's POV.
It's not an uncommon thing for preteens and teens to write songs from time to time. (I reckon it's safe to say that most of the writers reading this wrote a few poetic, melodramatic songs during their childhood. I know I did.) If you visit a site where teens post poems and lyrics (TEEN INK is one) you’ll find numerous songs about crushes, being betrayed by a best friend, or holding emotions in and not being able to let them out. Essentially, writing songs is a method to share thoughts and emotions in a creative way.

"But how does this help me as a writer?" you might ask. This exercise will aid you to see through your MC's eyes better, and be able to pinpoint where the character's emotions and concerns are headed in the scene.

~Melanie Woods


  1. What a novel way to flesh out a character! Thanks for such a lovely tip! Take care

  2. Good one. I often write letters from their point of view, which always helps, but when I've tried lyrics, it really condenses their feelings and brings them out in a poetic way, which can reveal phrases to use in their story.

  3. I hadn't thought of that as a way to develop my characters more. I'm not much of a poet but I may try it. Thanks for the tip.

  4. Great idea. I write letters too, but it will be songs next time.

  5. Great tip and one I have used myself! I have been doing something similar to Melanie and Maine Character's (cool name btw) idea, I create diary entries in a characters POV.

    It started as a collection of notes, but when I wanted to have the emotion of experiences, it quickly turned into a diary.

  6. Wow, great tip! I would never have thought to do that but I love the idea of it! Especially for emotional scenes, I think this could be really effective! I once heard someone say that songs are so powerful because they say things in such a simple way--so simple that it would sound trite or just foolish if we talked that way (i.e. in rhyme, etc.) but in music, we can express our thoughts and emotions in a simple way. As a writer, this can help us get down to the bare bones of our characters motivations and emotions for a particular scene. Awesome! I love this tip! :D

  7. Yes, great idea! I just did this in my WIP. One of the letters turned into a song/rap. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Pondering this. I haven't seen this mentioned before but it reminds me a bit of the "what's in your main protagonist's purse/bag" question, which pulls out elements of your character for brainstorming. But this touches on the emotional side. INTRIGUING.

  9. I totally never even considered this! I have to give it a try.

  10. Great tip! I hadn't thought of that, but you are so right, teenagers are always writing songs, poems, etc...

  11. what a great idea! I'm going to have to try this ...

  12. whoa...what an excellent suggestion. thanks!!

  13. Wait a minute - we were suppose to STOP writing angst-filled songs about life once we reached adulthood? Oops! ;-)

    Great tip!

  14. I have never thought of this. I need to give it a try.

  15. Great tip! I always feel a little guilty browsing websites where teens post poetry (because it seems so private and I wouldn't want anyone reading the stuff I wrote as a kid!). But it is a great way to get into the right head space and I never thought about using lyrics. Thanks!

  16. I like this idea! Usually, I search for songs which reflect the character or the emotions they might be feeling, but this is another great alternative!

  17. Love it. I'm going to try this with all my characters. Or a song. Thanks for the Great Idea!

  18. Thanks for making me apart of it i really enjoyed reading it all.

  19. this blog is really amzing to work out.Keep sharing these type of informative blog.
    Messe Hilfe

  20. this is a great tip, i often write songs or change lyrics of songs to describe charectors!!

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