Top 10 Albums – Writing Prompts

I’ve not written for ages. Ironically the stories I wrote last year and early this year are doing well in terms of submissions but the cupboard has been getting emptier for some time now. Some writers can just seem to get down to it and produce something decent each day. Calum Kerr has recently completed a story a day for the last year but if I tried that without some kind of inspiration or half formed idea, I’d just burn out or write rubbish. However I do need to write more regularly. So what to do?

I’ve found that music and/or writing prompts help (Vanessa Gebbie’s Storygym for example) and one of my stories ‘Baker’s Shop’ (which will appear in 100RPM edited by Caroline Smailes) was prompted by ‘Baker, Baker’ by Tori Amos so I’ve hit on an idea. I’m going to pick 10 of my favourite albums and use each song as a writing prompt (either the feel of the music or the title depending on how I feel) for a flash, or heavens forbid,a short story. That gives me about 100 prompts to start with. I’ve chosen albums that hold up to a lot of repeat listening (which rules artists like The Fall or Bjork, much as I love them, or wrist slashing albums like Fiona Apple’s Tidal – brilliant though it is). I’ve also chosen albums that I think (hope) will give me inspiration:

The ten albums are (in no particular order)

Peter Gabriel – So

Fleetwood Mac – Rumours

Kate Bush – Hounds of Love

Tori Amos – Little Earthquakes

OMD – Architecture & Morality

Lloyd Cole – Rattlesnakes

Pretenders – Loose Screw

Garbage – Garbage

Judie Tzuke – One Tree Less

Ryan Adams – Heartbreaker

As well as the stories, I intend to write about the albums themselves.  I’m finishing a piece of work on Tuesday and then I’m planning to have a few days writing. I’m hoping this will get me writing regularly again and make the process less tortured. Wish me luck.


About Peter Domican
Marketer and change professional. Writer and photographer.

6 Responses to Top 10 Albums – Writing Prompts

  1. Rachel says:

    Good luck! My biggest inspiration has always come from listening to Radio 4 in the morning… You can tell I haven’t done that for a while…

  2. Claire King says:

    Good luck! Its never easy to keep the habit of writing going. Mine necessarily hoes in fits and starts. But it sounds lIke you’ve got a good plan to inspire yourself: I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

    • Thanks. I’ve used other forms of writing prompts like StoryGym but sometimes the prompts just don’t grab me on that day. I like the idea of giving myself a lot of choice to start with in the beginning.

  3. Mike says:

    You should get quite a few prompts out of ‘So’. Fleetwood Mac would be good for relationships but they might fairly literal.

    I guess I must use a lot of songs as prompts in my writing too. I often name titles in my writing and, much as I’d like to cite lyrics, I try and avoid that for copyright purposes.

    • There’s a fantastic documentary on Fleetwood Mac which has a large chunk devoted to Rumours and all the relationships within the band which were breaking down.
      Will be trying to stay clear from meltdown stories!

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