Chapter 1 Begin your hero's journey

This is a creative Writing exercise to ‘Make A World Using Music.’

Creating a vivid world can really help to draw your reader into the story. Music is often used in performance to create a sense of atmosphere. Now music can mean many things, electric guitars or classical strings but it can also mean the sort of sounds you hear on a walk outside - the rustle of trees, bird song, the thud of horses’ hooves. Of course, if your reader is reading your story on the page they can not very well hear this music. Or can they? How can you convey the sounds of your story to a reader? Let’s create an Oppidom Orchestra!

Imagine your oppidum. Remember, the reader knows nothing about your setting. You are going to capture their imagination and draw them into your world using sound.

What can you hear? Write down your ideas much like you did in the Free Writing exercise.

Here are some of my ideas:

People wish each other good morning. Neighbours chatter share tips on how best to cook carrots. The swirl of dresses as girls play on the grass. The trot trot of horses’ hooves as they gallop. The squeaky wheel of an apple cart. The distant echo of an owl’s call on the wind. Sheep bleat together – as though they are having a friendly gossip! The merry chirrup of birds.

Now to build your Oppidum Orchestra answer the following questions.

  1. What’s the pace like? The pace is the speed.
  2. What’s the tone like? The tone is the mood.
  3. What’s the rhythm like? The rhythm is the repetition of sound.
  4. What’s the melody like? The melody is the tune.

Here are some of my ideas

  1. What’s the pace like? It’s a relaxed, breezy morning. The pace is slow and steady.
  2. What’s the tone like? People are chatting and laughing. The tone is warm and friendly.
  3. What’s the rhythm like? Sheep bleat and the cart wheel squeaks again and again. The rhythm is lively and bright.
  4. What’s the melody like? This is a vibrant spring morning. The melody is sweet tune that skips from note to note.

Here’s an exercise to continue after the workshop...

To further explore this idea of music, think about the movement of oppidum. How do the animals move? How do the people move? How does the wind move through the trees? Then continue to explore sight, smell, touch and taste. What does your oppidum look like, smell like, feel like and what can you taste in the air?