Pages Navigation Menu

Start With Something That's True

Song Prompt: Write A Book

Song Prompt: Write A Book

Don’t worry, you won’t have to write a book in its entirety!

This prompt focuses on a single aspect of a book.

Take fifteen minutes to “free style,” or jot down some random thoughts that pop into your head, on the song prompt topic Write A Book.

We’ve also provided a chord progression to get you started.

If you haven’t done this before, we’ve provided a step-by-step to help you use the prompts and work through the creation of a song.


Song Prompt:  Write A Book
  • Write a song about some aspect of a book.

It can be:

  1. The dedication of the book
  2. A single chapter in a book
  3. The whole book as a sequence, e.g., chapter 1, chapter 2
  4. A page or a component like the cover, a paragraph or a sentence
  5. A genre or type of book, e.g., the good book, a comic book, a notebook, a scrap book
  • Who is the main character what’s their connection to “the book”?
  • What is the drama associated with the “book” – i.e., the tension?
  • Why is the book so important anyway? Does that create some of the tension/drama?
  • Is the story being told to someone, being remembered, or taking place now?
  • Where does all of this take place?
  • Is the place warm, cold, a vacation spot, a quiet place, someone’s room, a bar? Be sure to describe it in detail!
Prompt Chord Progression:

Key = D

Verse:  D – Em – G – A  (I-II-IV-V)

Chorus:  C – Bm – G   (bVII-IV-IV)


Need more chord progression to choose from? Chart and common chord progressions.


What’s Next?

Step 1:  write for 15 minutes on one of the items (or similar) above

Step 2:  create a song idea from the above

Step 3: decide on your song plot and key song plot elements

Step 4: use the chord progression to write around

Step 5: use a song you like to write a ghost song off of if you’re having difficulty with a melody line


Great Example of a Song About A Book!

Elvis Costello “Everyday I Write The Book”


More Song Prompts:


songwriting song prompt noun plus verb

Create A Song Prompt: Noun + Verb

Nouns and verbs are powerful elements of a song.  Create your own song prompt with a NOUN + VERB combination that surprises you! If you really want to push your creative thinking, then start putting together words that don’t logically go together.  This one is a Noun+Verb Mashup. As an ongoing exercise, keep an excel […]

halloween song prompt

Halloween Song Prompt: Noun + Verb

Trying to write a Halloween song? This prompt is a basically a seasonal version of the the Noun+Verb Mashup. You can do the same for any holiday, like Christmas, just change up your nouns and verbs! And remember, as an ongoing exercise, you can keep an excel worksheet with columns for nouns, verbs and adjectives. […]

song prompt break the rules

Song Prompt: Break The Rules

Who doesn’t love breaking the rules? But, just throwing rules to the wind isn’t what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about intentionally breaking the rules for a specific reason. A great example is Brandi Carlile’s “The Eye” that only uses four lines for the last stanza, or Lori McKenna’s “Bird & The Rifle” that doesn’t […]

songwriting song prompt 11 things

11 “Things” Song Prompts

This list of “11 things” is a great way to start getting your brain working not only for songs, but poems as well. By using items most of us can relate to quickly and easily, you will spend less time trying to manufacture a scene, characters or circumstances. As a twist on the song prompt, […]

songwriting song prompt 11 more things

11 More “Things” Song Prompts

What’s better than a song prompts list of “more things” to get your brain working and go somewhere you didn’t imagine? These prompts can help generate some song or poem starters you can relate to quickly and easily.  You’ll spend less time trying to manufacture a scene, characters or circumstances, and get right into the […]

songwriting song prompt thinking out loud

Song Prompt: Thinking Out Loud

Thinking out loud to get a song started is a great way to remove yourself from your normal approach. For example, if you always write in first person, writing in third person will give you a different perspective. Thinking out loud is also a great way to take a current song you’re stuck on and […]



Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.