I have a number of pet peeves when it comes to online fiction. I wont bore you with a list though as others have already written up well covering inventories of these, even some rather funny ones. If you want to view one of those go and browse the “20 deadly (fan) fiction sins” at Verne’s Review Site.
One of my pet peeves concerns song lyrics – don’t put that in my fiction please! First of all it’s properly a copyright infringement and furthermore, what I want is the story that the writer can tell with her talent or skill. If I wanted the words of the songwriter - I would go listen to the music.
Well I found a story that include the lyrics of a song and a rather long one at that – and surprise - I actually did like both the story, the lyrics and how the two were woven together in the short story. This only proves that it’s necessary to treat your pet peeves with a bit of distance otherwise you might miss out on a good experience.
“Eyes on me” is the first part of “Lyrical Ballads” a string of three short stories all written around a song, Damnation call’s it a written form of music video. This caught my eye as I sometimes find myself thinking about the things - not - told in the lyrics of a song. So I gave “The Lyrical ballads” a go, and I found the stories to be well written with a refreshingly darkish tone - it’s not the light hearted romance that I usually go for.
The Lyrical ballads is really just about a journey – a journey travelled by a young woman – a writer - not just by going from one place to another in terms of geography, but also by overcoming past hurt with the help of a singer she meets in a bar.
The Lyrical ballads are words, words spoken, written or sung to express feelings and perhaps bridge a gap, make a path to walk towards healing. I know I sound all mushy here – perhaps I’m overdoing it a bit, but as I told you that the story has a darkish tone. I guess it rubbed off on me tonight.
I found the story strangely catching even if it seemed to have a rather unfinished or open end, but I think that the three stories in The Lyrical ballads make a perfect circle as it is – starting and ending with a song. The tone of the story would be disturbed if the suggestion of love was answered with a kiss or if it turned out that the love was one-sided.
So if you need a short brake from the classic romance storylines you could look up “The Lyrical ballads” it won’t take much time.
As for my pet peeve about song lyrics in fiction, I’ll just say that the lyrics to the song “Eyes on me” were well integrated in the storyline of the first part of “The Lyrical ballades”, but that was not the case with the lyrics used in the second part “Hero” or the third part “Fragile”. Actually the lyrics of the songs Hero and Fragile seemed to be superfluous as the story did come over quiet well just by the words of the writer – so if you don’t need a walking stick – why carry one around? Maybe the writer was just trying to stick with the idea of doing the written music video “thing” and didn’t realise that the song wasn’t needed to tell the story ?