In this post, we tell you why country is king when it comes to fictional characters.
I like Country Music. Don’t judge. I really do. It’s not so much the twangy guitar, harmonica vibes that I enjoy, it’s the stories I like. (If it’s Deacon from Nashville who is playing the guitar then I will happily profess a love for twang.)
Why Country Is King When It Comes To Fictional Characters
I am in awe of the songwriters. They pack so much story into a few minutes.
I guess you could say that about any songwriter, but it’s the country songs that get me stomping and singing along.
What amazes me is how they describe a person or an event in a single line, and it’s as if I know exactly who, or what, they are describing.
I strive for that in my writing. I want to find a single line that will tell you everything, and I want that line to stay with you.
3 Examples Where Country Is King When It Comes To Characters
- I love songs like Suds in a Bucket by Sara Evans. It’s a story about a teenager who runs away with “her prince in a white pick-up truck”, and “She left the suds in the bucket/And the clothes hangin’ out on the line.”
- And then there’s this guy I just think is awesome. I like his honesty when he says, “I like my women just a tad on the trashy side.” (The song is Trashy Women by Jerry Jeff Walker.) I always imagine this rich guy bringing home women who make everyone cringe, but he is as happy as can be.
- Another guy who is just so clear in my mind is the one from Picking Wild Flowers by Keith Anderson. He asks a lady to go picking wild flowers with him by saying, “I got Tom Petty playin’ in my Silverado/And I iced down a six-pack”. I mean what woman could resist that? (Insert super-cheesy grin here.) And of course he tells her, “Hey Daisy don’t you worry ‘bout your mama/Like 007 we can keep it covert.”
Laugh, shudder, and cringe at these people all you want, but you can’t deny they’ve engaged your emotions. They have come alive in your mind. The descriptions are vivid and simple, and the stories are clear.
So, next time you are stuck with your novel, try writing your story as country song. The characters will come to life.
And after that exercise you’ll find novel-writing easy. After all, your novel doesn’t have to rhyme.
[TOP TIP: Use our Character Creation Kit to help you create great characters for your stories.]
by Mia Botha