What might have happened if R Kelly had been a member of a writer’s workshop

In today’s writing workshop, we’re going to look at  R Kelly’s Ignition (remix) 

I enjoyed reading this piece of work and can certainly see that there’s a rhythm to the way you use words. I particularly liked the bouncing, tooting and beeping, which are lots of fun and encourage participation with the text. That said, I have a few questions about some of the other aspects of this piece that I’ll address now.

Starting with the first verse. I’m struggling with the simile where you compare the girl to the Lexus Coupe. I can’t quite see where you’re driving with this, if you’ll pardon the pun. I don’t know. As an image it just doesn’t quite work for me. Also, why has this one girl got you ‘playing the field’? If you’re as into her as the lyrics here suggest, surely you’d stop playing the field and pursue just this woman. And, on that subject, isn’t ‘playing the field’ a bit of a cliche? Can you come up with a fresher way to say that?

The chorus here has a lot going for it. It scans on first glance, and certainly comes off the page rhythmically. I’m not sure about ignition and kitchen, though. Yes, it’s a half rhyme, but aren’t we getting a bit of a mixed metaphor here too? I wonder if you could try for more of an extended metaphor and use ideas that fit together? I don’t think it matters so much whether it rhymes or not.

Most of the rest I can live with and yes, on the ‘freaking weekend’ I like to ‘have me some fun’ too. Although I did wonder if you were being a bit coy with your use of the word ‘freaking’. People can probably cope with a little bit of swearing. It’s 2003, after all!

The only other thing that really jarred me was the simile you use at the beginning of the second proper verse. You say:

Now it’s like “Murder She Wrote”
Once I get you out them clothes

I wondered, reading this, if you’d ever actually watched ‘Murder She Wrote’. I’m not sure the comparison quite does the work you want it to. This drama, starring Angela Lansbury, wasn’t very sexy at all. In fact, it was really quite a cozy crime drama. There wasn’t really anything edgy about it, either. You might have been better to pick something darker. Some good classic noir or Hitchcock. The Postman Always Rings Twice is quite a racy film. Just a thought!

So, yes, this is a good start but I think it needs more work. I’d suggest to worry less about rhyming and more about finding the right word for what you want to say. And, generally, tighten up your use of imagery so that we get more clarity about exactly how you feel about this woman. I’m looking forward to seeing where you go with this one!

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About nicolamon

novelist and all that
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