What Can I/Can't I Post in Techniques + FAQ (Read Before You Post)
Things are still under construction in Techniques, some rules exist for things not yet in place, but please humour us for now. Many Thanks the S+L Mod Team.
Welcome to S+L techniques!
I am going to lay the regulations for the use of this sub-forum out into to two segments; what you can post and what you can’t, easy as pie, eh?
Before you post anything you must, must, check the ONLY 'ONLY Threads' thread and the Lyrics Tips thread to see if we already have a place to post your question (other than creating a new thread) or if you can answer your own question by using the resources available.
What you can post:
What you can’t post:
If there is something you’re not sure about then PM a mod. We will get back to you asap.
Hope that helps you a bit more.
Here in the FAQ we aim to post the question and the answers to some of the not so common things asked in Techniques, things not covered by an ONLY thread already and one off questions.
N.B. You have to understand that these answers are from other S+L users and are not definitive answers, this FAQ is designed to help you find a solution not force you into one.
If you've had your thread closed and been directed here it means your question has already been answered somewhere here. Use the Contents below to find the answers. (Due to the way the contents are organised it is advisable to find the question you require and click it, which will open a new window containing the answer, if you try to search the thread for it don't use the contents list as a guide since the articles in both categories aren't updated in order.)
Lyric based questions:
Is their a way of staying focused while writing a piece, before I move on and start another?
Should I revise my work?
What is 'personal style' and is it a good thing?
What should I title my piece?
Should poetry be 'gotten'?
Can I use quotes from the Bible in my work?
Lyric and Music based questions:
How do I write like *insert generic bands name here*?
If you would like to add an answer to any of the questions above then please contact me (The Hurt Within) via PMs.
- Is there a way to keep my mind focused on one particular story before becoming pretty much fed up of writing it and therefore inadvertently starting another?
If you find you are automatically moving onto a different story then the first one wasn't worth your time or energy to continue, its the natural process of creativity, let it flow, 'cause if you don't then the story will probably just sound half-assed and fake. Solution? just wait until you're interested in the story again and write on it, its as simple as that.
Also I mean how would a writer fare then if they decide they didn't want continue with it, the problem you have is that you're not interested in the story enough to continue it, so why should someone reading it be interested? If you are writing on a grander scale you need a stanza/chapter set-up, know what you want to cover essentially from each stanza/chapter/story and then follow where ever your creative mood takes you. If you're bored of a particular part of the story move on and write other areas.
It is also worth mentioning that just because you've become uninterested in a certain piece you are writing doesn't mean you might not in the future, so save it in a word document and one day maybe you'll be in a similar frame of mind to complete it; it is possibly for this reason you lost interest, your mood can change at the flick of a switch and it can very easily effect what you're in the middle of writing.
- Should I revise my work? The Yay and Nay
Yay - In my opinion by revising a piece you not only learn to analyse your own mistakes or flaws, but you then also find ways to fix them, so that when your next bout of inspiration strikes and you feel like something isn't working you can change it there and then, by not dwelling on your mistakes then you are overlooking the faults. Also revision is an exercise in toying with a piece, to achieve your current perfective masterpiece.
Nay - With every piece you write you learn, it may be possible to spend too much time correcting and improving a piece when in reality it would be more beneficial to just write your next piece and write as much as you can. There's always the option of coming back to a piece some 2 years old to bring a new perspective to the piece. It also depends greatly on what the piece was designed for, many writers will use certain pieces as an exercise, it which case a few harsh critiques from other users will highlight the problems and you can move on to the next piece taking what you have learned and applying it there.
Either way, it is advisable to take a quick look over your work before you post it here, does it read smooth, have you removed all instances of abbreviation like "ur or u" with can deter many people from commenting - unless it is intentional of course! Do any words sound out of place, check for grammar mistakes, alter line breaks and such, this not only gives those critiquing you less things to critique, it also makes them focus on the more important areas of the piece that might need work.
- How can I write lyrics (and music for that matter) like (Insert generic band name here)?
Regardless of whether you think they are good or not, you shouldn't copy any artist intentionally. There's nothing wrong with influences, however I'd advise you to be yourself and write your own way, and find your own voice.
It can help to de-construct some of your favourite songs, look at the lyrics/tab and see how the built the song, what techniques they used and then use the same techniques in your own writing, for ever new technique you learn from studying other writers you open up a plethora of doors to your own creative limits.
Although that said there shouldn't be one single "way" in which you write; you should vary your writing and experiment with different structures, rhyme schemes, ideas and techniques, structures and styles. But yes, influence not imitate.
- 1. What is a 'personal style'?
2. How does one know that they have their own 'style'?
3. Is it good or bad to have a 'style'?
The having of a personal style, I think, is constituted by a kind of consistency in the aesthetic of one's imagery, maybe a set of similar and/or related themes and subject matter, then there'd also be consistency in technique, structuring, tone and basically any discernible characteristic of one's writing.
I think style comes about just when you achieve adeptness at writing in some way or on some set(s) of subject matter. I kind of relate 'style' to say, the defining characteristics of a band's sound on one album. When you hit on that one style you should practice and explore it to the fullest extent. Hone it. But, in another parallel with a band's sound on an album, I think that 'style' should be employed for one 'creative epoch' only, so to speak. Meaning that you eventually move outside of it. Basically try to write outside your comfort zone so that you can grow. In the same way that doing this makes a good band, doing this should eventually make anyone a good writer. I think by moving onward to new and different things; structure for example, one can eventually notch up proficiency at many different styles and draw on the best and most useful aspects of them whenever they need.
- Are titles important in (mainly) poetry?
As in relevance to the piece. What should they say etc?
It depends if you want your title to link into the piece in a big way, a small way, or not at all. You could just have an attention-grabbing title, or a pun, or a statement that relates to the piece, or a vague phrase that then holds a deep meaning within the piece - I think it all depends on how you want to use the title in a piece.
If the title is integral to the piece you may find that it is overlooked and thus some of the meaning in the piece is lost, however those adept at reading poetry should always consider the title regardless of its relevance.
Attention grabbing titles are fine for a forum or on a website, perhaps even has its place on contents page, but there can be downfalls, in that the reader will take the title in mind and read the piece hoping for it to link in some way, only to find it is not.
Often songwriters will choose a phrase or word from the piece itself that stands out, the repetitive nature of this creates familiarity with the audience thus increasing its selling power on a mass scale.
In the end you have to think what would benefit the piece more, that only you can decide, but originality in titles goes a long way to attracting a readers attention.
- First and foremost I believe poetry should be "gotten" and if it can't be, or at least not to the majority of readers, then it's got no business being a poem. the only exceptions would be 1) a poem written for personal reasons only, and 2) you only want a select group of people to get it, which is fine so long as they do.
I'm inclined to disagree, just because some books are written cryptically, and not to the majorities taste, is it any less of a book? Essentially a poem with a meaning is a poem, no matter what approach is used?
Poetry is based on two mediums, reader friendly (The nature of the poem is pastoral and the diction and structure reflects this - preferring to convey a certain emotion to the reader in the hopes they connect with it too), and writer friendly (For those who appreciate the technical side of writing, the meaning may not be resolutely attainable, but the very nature of the poem allows anyone to take their own personal meaning from it.) Both are acceptable forms of poetry in my eyes. Each style has its pros and cons. Every poem has a meaning, and every poem can be understood by someone if they are willing of course.
- Can I use quotes from the bible in my writing (or any other quotes for that matter)?
In short: There aren't any limits to songwriting, use whatever references and quotes you want to.
As long as you use it in an effective way. Also make sure you're quoting the bible because the quote means something to you, or people can relate to it, don't reference just for the sake of it.
If it fits with the piece then yes, it would be a good idea. Generally, any form of an allusion, or anything else that can give you piece a deeper meaning, for the most part will elevate the quality of the piece. seeing as the bible is probably the most read/quoted book in the world, there is generally no harm in using it, not to mention that the bible covers most subjects so there is, for the most part, always something that you could use from it in a piece.
You have to remember that even when using a biblical quote it doesn't make the piece about Jesus, or even Christianity, while recognisable it's only furthering your intended message within the piece, it's not much different to quoting any old text; just make sure when you post it up on the web you cite your sources and give credit where credit is due.
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