April 16, 2020

What’s in a Name?

Choose from a list of names given by the instructor. Create a character based on

what you imagine – with nothing to go on but the sound of that person’s name. Who

are they, what do they want? How to they travel through the world? Be specific

with environment, age, attitude.


April 3, 2020

(Adjective) Roses

Take a combination of words (adjective-noun, possessive noun) that could have

multiple meanings, and shade it with specifics. Think about time, place, age, health,

wealth, circumstance, environment, et al. Where does a simple phrase-- a simple

clue into something you know nothing about--take you? How does it apply to a

stakes driven song? How big is the moment? Is this a small moment or lottery-

winning moment in time? Think about a simple thing in different ways.


March 26, 2020

My Brother Joe

Take a character from literature, history, or celebrity and give them a brother

named Joe. How would this heretofore-unseen character affect the story we know?

Create a new, stakes-filled relationship between a known and unknown character,

and lyricize a moment between them.


Early March 2020

Boo! What Scares You

Write a character moment that involves the thing that scares you most in the world.

Think of the various ways this could be introduced. The song does not have to be

directly ABOUT the subject, the feeling can infuse whatever you are writing about.

ie – rather than writing a song called “I HATE HEIGHTS!” – What would a song be for

a woman feeling this way experiencing a proposal in a hot air balloon? Think about

specifics, stakes, and what your personal take on this notion of abject fear would be.

Where would this obstacle be even more problematic? Is it ever a good thing – how

does fear serve as fuel? What are unique and interesting ways of looking at this



©2020 Marcy Heisler. All Rights Reserved.