Songfics, in my mind, can be interesting, well-done, and fun to write. Unfortunately, the songfic has garnered a bad reputation for the often derivative and poorly written fics it produces. That's why I've set out to create the ultimate guide to writing a good songfic. Feel free to post links to your songfics, and feel free to discuss the challenges and successes you've encountered while experimenting with this genre of fan fiction. THE GUIDE As I have said before, there is such thing as a good songfic. Here are some tips for writing one: 1. Actually write a story around the song. Don't just adapt the lyrics to whatever character or situation you're describing. 2. On the flip side, use the lyrics to enhance the story, not clutter it. Act as if you're writing a music video with dialog. The lyrics of the song should reflect what's going on. 3. Also think about tempo and the instrumental parts of the song. The reader will hear the song in their heads as they read, and nothing is more of a mood killer than an upbeat song in a serious fic. 4. But, if you want a little humor, you can make the song slightly incongruous with the story (think "Stuck in the Middle With You" in Reservoir Dogs). 5. Don't stick to just one genre of music. Show tunes, rock, pop, rap, country, jazz, and even classical have interesting, compelling songs. 6. Lyrics DO NOT belong in dialog. Ever. 7. Think about alternate meanings and double entendres that some songs have. Do your research, or you could end up with some very humorous results. 8. On that note, be careful of songs translated from other languages for the same reason. 9. Keep changing the lyrics around to a minimum. It's OK if the song refers to things like cars and the like. If it has too many references or subject matter that doesn't go well in the Star Wars universe, look for a different song. 10. Above all: have a good time writing, and don't be afraid to experiment! Some Recommended Songs In a songfic, the song is, of course, the most important part. Here are some songs that I love for fics, and for what plot, characters, etc. they would do best. "Existentialism on Prom Night" (Straylight Run)---Very emotional, beautiful love song. "No More" (Into the Woods)---Good song for father-son relationships. Vader/Luke, Han/Jacen, you name it. "Chasing Cars" (Snow Patrol)---Although it's a tad overused, this is an amazing love song. If nothing else, use it for this line alone: All that I am/all that I ever was/is right here in your perfect eyes/they're all I can see. "When Somebody Loved Me" (Toy Story 2)---Hands down the most heartbreaking breakup song ever. "Nightswimming" (REM)---I have painful memories of being rejected on the dance floor to this song. It's another great one for breakups, deaths, and the like. "O Fortuna" (Carl Orff)---Bombastic, powerful, great lyrics that sound just as awesome in English as they do in Latin. Use for epic duels. "Till Him" (The Producers)---A surprisingly sweet little ditty about meeting the perfect man. "As Time Goes By" (Casablanca)---A classic. Good for romance between older characters. "Children Will Listen" (Into the Woods)---Wonderful for fics involving kids. "Hurt" (Nine Inch Nails)---The classic angst song. Tread carefully. This song has been used in many a bad songfic, and some may ridicule you for using it. "Keep Me in your Heart" (Warren Zevon)---I was in a puddle crying when I first heard this song. You probably will be too. Feel free to suggest songs you've loved working with, and share your experiences in writing songfics.