How do I write a ballad?
A Ballad is a narrative composition in rhythmic verse suitable for singing. In other words its a poem you can sing. How do you write one? Thats a pretty hard question but since I write poetry all of the time, I will give you a few ideas that have helped me to get started.
First, listen to music. I mean really listen! Pay attention to the words, the sounds, the rhymes, and the rhythm. This will train your brain to think in verses.
Then comes the writing part.
One way to begin is to start with an idea and write as much as you can think of about that idea, without worrying about spelling or making sense. This is called free-writing. After you are finished, then go back and edit what you wrote, and turn the ideas into a poem.
Another idea is to pick a topic and write down a list of different things having to do with that topic. When you are finished, go back and organize your list into a poem.
For example, if I were to write a ballad about say, America, I might start with a list like this:
226 years old
Then I would turn it into a poem like this:
Ive traveled the states
from fifty on down,
I discovered more cultures
than mountains could count.
Over two hundred years
since this land was found,
many governments, many freedoms,
yet liberty still abounds.
See how I took words from my list and surrounded them with my own ideas?
The trick is not to try too hard. A ballad also has a recurrent refrain, which simply means a repeating chorus. Here is an example . . .
My last piece of advice is to write from your heart!