#FlashFriday Explained: NOT TODAY

As I mentioned many times before, music is my greatest inspiration for writing. Often, when I’m feeling stuck in a particular part of a story, I find the answer in songs.

In Welcome to New York, I found out what was Alana’s “secret” after listening to She’s Not Mine, by Sara Beirelles.

In Once in a Lifetime, one of the relationships is heavily based on Outside, by Catfish and the Bottlemen. I even directly stole a line from the song for one of the scenes.

My next novel, Beautifully Unfinished, was born from the first four verses of Breathe Again, by Sara Bareilles.

Last year, I started a series on my Twitter and Instagram (hey, follow me there!) where I post a very short story — aka flash — based on one of my favorite songs. Not only it’s a great writing exercise, but it’s fun, too! I thought it would be also fun to try to use it to explain my writing process, so that’s what I’m going to do here. Hopefully, I won’t bore you to death! We’ll see.

This week’s song is…

I came across this song by…

It appeared on one of those Daily Mix playlists Spotify has. I’ve found those to be really helpful when I need to be in a certain mood to write or even to work. The Discover Weekly one is also a goldmine of new and interesting songs.

I like it because…

As a writer, I tend to favor songs that already tell a story. I like descriptions, I like imagery, I like feelings. It doesn’t really matter what the song is about, just how it says what it wants to say.
I like this one because it tells a story of heartbreak, but with a hopeful tone. The person in the song is still in pain at the moment the song is being sung, but she knows it will go away. She knows she’ll be whole again. Just not today.

It made me think of…

As I listened to it, I imagined Becky (one of the main characters in Once) and her process after going through a break-up that’s mentioned in the book. That feeling of longing to get to that better place, but not yet being there, and how much the little things in everyday life might become difficult. Listening to that song, hearing his name, going to that place. It all feels unreasonably hard, but although she knows it’s unreasonable, she can’t make herself not feel it. Yet, she knows it will pass, she wants it to pass.

My favorite part of the song is…

One day, that song won’t make me cry anymore
One day, I’ll get up off the bathroom floor
Oh, piece by piece, I’ll be restored
But surely not today

And the story ended up looking like this…

It will be a sunny day and the chorus of that song blasting through my headphones will stir no memories. I’ll walk down to my favorite coffee shop and the taste of my favorite order will be comforting again. I’ll meet up with friends for drinks and if his name is mentioned in casual conversation, I won’t flinch. It will be just a name.

Not today, though. Today, I’ll just cry a little more.

So, what did you think? Would you like to see more posts like this? Tell me in the comments!


» All my books have playlists! You can listen to the songs that inspired Welcome to New York on Spotify.

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