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Lyrical Note…

06 Nov

DO NOT USE POP SONG LYRICS IN YOUR BOOK.

It’s the one piece of advice I consistently give other writers and the one piece of advice that is most consistently ignored. Yet if they were to listen to just one thing I tell them, this would be it:

DO NOT USE POP SONG LYRICS IN YOUR BOOK.

It is expensive — often prohibitively so — and it’s often unnecessary if you stretch yourself. I rewrote a lot of song lyrics out of my first book, Mahogany Slade. At the time, I didn’t see how it would be possible and the, once complete, I was glad I’d removed the lyrics, as they had become anchors on the story. Instead, I found other means of conveying how important music was to the characters.

Blake Morrison wrote a great “learn by example” piece about this in The Guardian.

Now did I forget anything? Oh right…

DO NOT USE POP SONG LYRICS IN YOUR BOOK.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 6, 2013 in Pop Life

 

Tags: ,

One response to “Lyrical Note…

  1. observeratlarge

    November 6, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Stephen,
    You have to pay royalties to use song lyrics in a book? What about blogs? There are blogs using music DAILY! Oh well
    I remember once being contacted by BMI when I was working in a law office, and told we have to pay them royalties for “music on hold.” I said, “I don’t think we have music on hold.”
    “Are you sure” they said. “Let’s see,” I replied, and put them on hold. Sure enough.

     

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