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10 Amazing Song Plots To Inspire Your Songwriting Right Now

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10 Surprisingly Simple Ways To Find Great Song Ideas!

Writers have an intimate relationship with the blank page...

And sometimes we avoid it altogether.

But if you have a strategy to deal with the blank page, you can start writing immediately and keep the relationship on good terms.

That's where song plots comes in. They're outlines that give your song sections a basic premise that you can flesh out in your lyrics.

Here's what song plots do for your writing...

  • They give you something to write about when you need song ideas
  • They take your current song ideas and shape them into song sections
  • They give your song sections a logical direction and flow
  • They fix monotonous ideas that don't develop or have any lyrical contrast
  • They help your listeners understand what your lyrics mean

The main point is to pick a song plot and use it. Commit to it and let it guide you past the blank page.

Take a look at these song plots we'll cover:

  • Life Could Be Better
  • Life Is Good Now
  • No More Problems
  • Things Are Happening
  • I've Got Feelings
  • Believe Something
  • Home Town
  • I Wish
  • I Want
  • Don't Do That

These song plots have as few words as possible so they won't have a stranglehold on your creativity. But you'll see how powerful they can be when it comes to presenting your song ideas.

Let's get started...

V=Verse, PC=Prechorus, C=Chorus, B=Bridge

Song Plot 1: Life Could Be Better

In song plot 1, life ain’t so good...

    V: The way I'd like things to be (positive)
    PC: Things change
    C: The way things are (negative)
    B: Everything's going to be alright

During the chorus, you describe the way things are. And in this song plot, the way things are is negative.

Think of any situation that’s negative and write about it. Example:

    C: Life could be better

Since the chorus is describing a negative situation (Life could be better), the verse will describe the way you'd like things to be. Example:

    V: I’d like life to be great and trouble-free

The prechorus gives you a place to transition from the verse to the chorus:

    PC: I hope things change

So now you can see how to set up a chorus that’s presenting a negative story:

    V: I’d like life to be great and trouble-free
    PC: I hope things change because...
    C: Life could be better

When you get to the bridge, you've got a new attitude:

    B: Everything's going to be alright

You don't want to depress your listener (mostly). Life might not be great or trouble-free right now, and you hope things will change for the better, but you know you can survive it and everything's going to be alright:

    V: I’d like life to be great and trouble-free
    PC: I hope things change because...
    C: Life could be better
    B: But I'll be alright

Why can’t you use this song plot with a chorus that has a positive message?

Because if you were to say, “I'd like things to be great and I'm hoping things change, but things are already great,” then people won't understand why you want anything to change!

As you can see, these song plots help you create a logical flow to your ideas.

There’s a better way to present a positive idea during the chorus and that’s the subject of Song Plot #2...

Song Plot 2: Life Is Good Now

In this song plot, life is pretty positive at the moment...

But things weren't always so good:

    V: The way things used to be (negative)
    PC: Things change
    C: The way things are (positive)
    B: Everything's going to be alright

This song plot describes the way things used to be negative during the verse. You can see how the idea in the verse contrasts the chorus, which describes the way things are positive now.

Think of any situation that’s positive and write about it. Example:

    C: Life is good now

Since the chorus describes the present situation (Life is good now), the verse will describe the way things used to be. Example:

    V: Life wasn't always so good
    C: Life is good now

Compare song plots #1 and #2:

  • They both describe the present in the chorus (The way things are)
  • They describe change in the prechorus (Things change)
  • They describe the future in the bridge (Everything's going to be alright)

The only difference is the verse:

  • The way things used to be
  • The way I'd like things to be

The content in the verse changes depending if the chorus is negative (song plot #1) or positive (song plot #2). But the prechorus and bridge can stay the same:

    V: Life wasn't always so good
    PC: But things do change
    C: Life is good now
    B: Everything's going to be alright

These first two song plots fit most song titles and give you something to write about and a direction to take your song.

These song plots provide the premise and basic outline of your song. The interesting details come later as you write lyrics that relate to the outline.

If you want the ideal formula for writing expressive lyrics and catchy music, check out the Speed Songwriting System and end all writer's block once and for all...

Click here to learn more...

Song Plot 3: No More Problems

Everyone can relate to wanting a problem to go away...

    V: The problem
    PC: Things change
    C: Life without the problem
    B: The challenges overcome

In this song plot, the chorus imagines life without the problem. Example:

    C: No more problems

In the verse, you describe the problem:

    V: I've got a curse

Connect the verse and chorus with a prechorus that describes how you want things to change. You can use the same prechorus idea as the first two song plots (Things change):

    V: I've got a curse
    PC: Lift this curse off of me
    C: No more problems

Bridge sections are often about the "big picture" and less about the little details. In this bridge, describe the challenges you overcame:

    V: I've got a curse
    PC: Lift this curse off of me
    C: No more problems
    B: I had to right my wrongs

Pick a problem and write it away!

Song Plot 4: Things Are Happening

This song plot is all about what's happening, what's about to happen, and what has happened...

    V: Describe what happened
    PC: Forget about what happened
    C: What's about to happen
    B: Describe the big realization, the life lesson

The trick with this song plot, because you're moving around in time, you have to be very careful that you keep to the same tense in each section. Otherwise, listeners will be confused about what's happening and when.

Here are two quick brainstorms:

    V: We got into a bar fight
    PC: Forget about the fight
    C: We need to start running from the law
    B: Fighting leads to running
    V: Crazy day at work
    PC: Leave it all behind
    C: We're gonna party all night
    B: Life comes before work

Song plot #4 is an excellent starting point for song titles with action in them.

Song Plot 5: I've Got Feelings

How are you feeling? Use this next song plot to write a song about it...

    V: This is how I feel
    PC: I'll tell you why I feel this way
    C: This is why I feel this way

Feeling blue?

    V: I feel blue
    PC: I'll tell you why I feel blue
    C: I feel blue because of you

Feeling great?

    V: I feel great
    PC: This is why I feel great
    C: I feel great because you smiled at me

With these simple outlines, you have lots of room to explore your feelings and what causes them.

Song Plot 6: Believe Something

This song plot is centered on a belief...

    V: Current situation
    PC: Result of belief
    C: Belief
    B: Belief in reverse

"All dogs have fleas" is a belief. Write a song about it:

    V: I'm surrounded by dogs
    PC: I'm going to itch
    C: All dogs have fleas
    B: All fleas have dogs

The bridge section is a play on words. This technique doesn't always work, but when your chorus is a belief, see if you can say it in another way during the bridge:

    C: I love pizza
    B: Pizza loves me

Clever! 🙂

Beliefs make great chorus material. So when you come up with a song title that's a belief or an opinion of some kind, check out this song plot and see if you can flip it around or say it in another way to make a great bridge.

If you're enjoying these song plots…

  • Discover the 6 basic chorus forms with crystal-clear principles to judge if your chorus is successful or not
  • Master the 5 types of chord progressions, their variations, with lots of fresh and current examples
  • Find out how to build choruses and find the perfect harmony for your melody and lyrics
  • Learn the most natural way to find your lyric rhythm and choose the chords for your chorus

Click here to learn more...

Song Plot 7: Home Town

This is a "location" song plot...

    V: Describe the journey
    C: Location / Thought about location
    B: Compare to other locations

This song plot works great when you have a song title that has a location in it. To give the location some context and color, add a thought about the location. Example:

    C: New England / Long dark winter

In the verse, describe the journey to the location. There's lots of room for interesting details, like the reason for your journey, who you're traveling with, or entertaining situations that happened along the way.

In the bridge you can compare the location to other locations. Describe how it's better than, worse than, different than, or the same as other locations.

You can use this song plot over and over again...

  • Countries
  • Cities
  • Buildings
  • Rooms
  • Streets
  • Nature
  • Imaginary locations

You have the entire world to write about.

Song Plot 8: I Wish

Is life perfect? I wish...

Use this simple song plot to explore everything in the world you want to change:

    V: How things are
    C: I wish things were different

Think of anything you wish could be different and write about it. Example:

    C: I wish I was on the beach

Now tell us the way things really are...

    V: I'm in a fallout shelter
    C: I wish I was on the beach

This is an example of a song plot that doesn't need a prechorus or a bridge. What makes each section unique is how they contrast each other.

If you want to add another song section like a prechorus or bridge, you can borrow one from another song plot:

    V: How things are
    PC: Things change
    C: I wish things were different
    B: Everything's going to be alright

You probably see how you can mix and match song plots to come up with new ideas!

Song Plot 9: I Want

This song plot is about getting what you want, or not...

    V: I do the opposite of what I want
    C: What I want

Describe what you want in the chorus and what you do that's the opposite of what you want in the verse. Example:

    V: I avoid making eye contact with you
    C: I want to look into your eyes

This song plot is great for creating conflict and contrast between song sections. Maybe you want to be a dancer but you're clumsy. Maybe you want to be a superhero but you're a janitor.

You can also switch the verse and chorus sections:

    V: What I want
    C: I do the opposite of what I want

Example:

    V: I want to settle down
    C: I keep running

Just like song plot 8, if you want to add a prechorus or bridge, use one of these:

    PC: Things change
    B: Everything's going to be alright

Song Plot 10: Don't Do That

If you bite your nails, don't do that!

This song plot is a lot like couples therapy...

    V: What you do that's positive
    C: Don't do something negative
    B: How I feel

Think of something you want someone not to do and describe it during the chorus. Example:

    C: Don't go home tonight

During the verse, describe what they do that's positive and describe how you feel during the bridge...

    V: You're fun to go out with
    C: Don't go home tonight
    B: I feel like partying all night long

If you ever feel like something is stopping you from writing songs, write a song to yourself using song plot 10. 🙂

You took a deep dive into developing song plots and you can see how these simple outlines give your songwriting a clear direction and purpose.

When you need something to write about, song plots give you a way to get started. They help you continue writing by giving your song sections a logical direction. And song plots help your listeners understand what your lyrics mean.

If you're interested in storytelling and learning dramatic writing structures, you'll love The “Story Hook” Challenge: 176 Popular Hooks For Songwriting...

Take these song plots and exercise your song idea muscles, just as I have in this post. With just a little experience, you can come up with interesting song ideas in 60 seconds or so.

Take one minute and give yourself something to write about right now.

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3 Responses to 10 Amazing Song Plots To Inspire Your Songwriting Right Now

  1. Ed May 21, 2016 at 4:40 AM #

    You truly rock

  2. Tamar Doyle August 14, 2016 at 11:40 AM #

    truly helpful !

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