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  • Writer's pictureBriony Rose Smith

Inspiration: Playlist Writing

There's no story without ideas and no ideas without inspiration. I'd like to take some time to tell you where my writing ideas came from. Hopefully, it can help on your own creative journey if not, there's some good insight on the origins of Moon Girl.

A large inspiration to most people is music and music played a big roll in my journey to finishing my first book as the very first pieces of Moon Girl were born from a creative writing game called playlist writing.

Playlist writing was something a friend told me about in college one day. Put your song library on shuffle and write based on what's playing, making sure to change something everytime a new song comes on. When the song changes you could: change the tone of the scene, add a character based off that song, have a character take action based on the song, anything you want as long as you base it on the song playing.

It's a really fun way to write when you have no idea where to start. You can just press play and see where it takes you. It really keeps you on your toes as songs aren't as long as you think if you don't type or write quick. Sometimes you may have to change things mid-sentence. I remember a piece I wrote once where a character came into the scene while Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name" played. By the time I was done describing the femme fatale lady from the song, the song had finished and the next made me throw any ideas about her personality out of the window and maker her really quite nice.

Here's an example of the playlist writing that I kept in my first book Moon Girl 1: Moon Rise. All spoilers are from chapter 1 so nothing major, but if it bothers you, you can sign up to my website for a free preview of chapter 1 in my Previews and Extras section, or use Amazon's look inside feature to read the preview there.

In the book, our main character, Dreda has gone for a job interview and ended up a hostage of a supervillain. She wakes up "seemingly...on the moon." and I can officially say she's on the moon because of this:

The opening theme for the Sailor Moon anime remake, Sailor Moon Crystal, was the first song to come on when I first wrote this pieces and, decided my setting. A setting which eventually lead to Dreda's superhero persona being Moon Girl so yes, it's Sailor Moon's fault that my hero is called Moon Girl.

Dreda eventually figured out that the moon she was on was an illusion and turned to a nerdy looking guy and asked him where he thought it was. He said it was in a data base. You could say he was 'living in a database'

The opening theme for Log Horizon was the next song to play. An anime is about gamers being trapped in a game, so not only did I take one of the lyrics very literally bu putting someone in an actual database, it also gave birth to my nerdy gamer secondary character.

Shockingly the next song has nothing to do with anime.

Very different from the first two songs I took a while to think of how to incorporate it into the story. I eventually settled on a strange side character who's illusionary prison got a bit...promiscuous. Then we had our villain's entrance to:

A typical villain song, a fun song about being evil for the sake of evil so Apex Illusionist, master of the sense of sight was, at least at the beginning, a very typical evil villain thanks to this.

The rest of the scene went through quite a few re-writes before making it into the story so I'll stop there but I hope this gave you a good idea of what can be done with playlist writing and how much fun you can have.


If you'd like to stretch you writing chops a bit. I suggest heading over to my writing prompt challenge.

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