I have written lots of songs over the years, not professionally. My skill at it can be debated on several levels, but the songs all follow a standard convention that includes some combination of verse, chorus, bridge, tag, break, etc. The style is usually in the neighborhood of Americana/Country, perhaps something in between. It is the “in between” issue that can be both frustrating and freeing.
Fiction writing and songwriting follow certain conventions that pertain to structure and commercial viability. Certain features of writing are measured against a commercial standard for publication. A thriller must maintain a certain pace and level of suspense; science fiction must maintain a plausible suspension of disbelief, etc. It is the same with music styles. Country music contains features that identify it as such, just as bluegrass has its own recognizable qualities. The difference between songs and writing is that those who professionally evaluate writing seem less flexible, less accepting when it comes to the “in between.” Read the rest of this entry »