The idea for this exercise comes from Chuck Palahniuk’s book “Consider This”. Though he is not a songwriter, his tools, tips, and techniques can really help us. He states that a “story is a stream of information”. Your job as writer is to “think of yourself as a DJ…mixing the tracks. The more music you have to sample from…the more likely you’ll keep your audience dancing.” He says to be aware of the many different “textures” at your disposal.
He categorizes three such forms of communication as "Description", “Instruction”, and “Exclamation (onomatopoeia) (other times this may be referred to “expressive”)”. Often, we as writers get stuck on description. The example he gives of blending all three is:
“A man walks into a bar and orders a margarita. Easy enough. Mix three parts tequila and two parts triple sec with one part lime juice, pour it over ice, and-- voila-- that’s a margarita.”
In reading this, I immediately thought of the song “Love Shack” by the B52s. In the one song we get
If you see a faded sign at the side of the road that says
Fifteen miles to the, love shack, love shack yeah
I’m headin’ down the Atlanta highway
Lookin’ for the love getaway
I got me a Chrysler, it seats about twenty
Wearin’ next to nothing ‘cause it’s hot as an oven
The whole shack shimmies when everybody’s movin’ around
So hurry up and bring your jukebox money
Hop in my Chrysler, it’s as big as a whale
And it’s about to set sail
Bang bang bang on the door baby
What is interesting is that in the exclamative example is also instructive: “Bang on the door, knock a little louder” is the whole line. The Instructive example also combines in descriptive language: Get in my car, here is how big it is.
This became one of their biggest hits.
For this exercise, it is pretty simple. Write a paragraph or a stanza of poetry that mixes the three textures of language.