Saturday, 30 August 2014

Ticket 70: Write Like A Novelist

Even if you're writing about autobiographical events or issues close to your heart, why not try on someone else's shoes and write 'as' (or about) a fictional character?

Eleanor Rigby - 3rd person
Maxwell's Silver Hammer - 3rd person
Mean Mr Mustard - 3rd person
Nowhere Man - 2nd and 3rd person
Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da - 3rd person
Paperback Writer - 1st person
Polythene Pam - 3rd person
Rocky Racoon - 3rd person
The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill - 1st and 3rd person
Yellow Submarine - 1st and 3rd person


Knockin' On Heavens Door - 1st person (Bob Dylan)
Lazing On A Sunny Afternoon- 1st person (The Kinks)
Money For Nothing - 1st person (Dire Straits)
Pinball Wizard - 3rd person (The Who)
Romeo And Juliet - 1st person and 3rd person (Dire Straits)
Roxanne - 2nd person (The Police)
Space Oddity - 1st person (David Bowie)
The Boxer - 1st and 3rd person (Simon And Garfunkel)

Concept albums are full of this kind of writing. See for example Operation Mindcrime (Queensryche), 2112 (Rush), The Wall (Pink Floyd) and Tommy (The Who). 

See also

Ticket 54: Unify Your Lyrical Imagery/Extended Metaphor
Ticket 64: Try Writing For Kids
Ticket 66: Write An 'Occasional' Song

See the full list of songwriting tips here - Tickets To Write


  1. For me writing like a novelist also means to include sense references and be as specific as I can, on a one page lead sheet, in 3 minutes