Writing Tips

Discussion in 'Writer's Block' started by Feme Sole, Jun 16, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Feme Sole

    Feme Sole Mrs. _Evil

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2002
    Messages:
    37,722
    They had a similar thread here before and I thought it was a good idea, so i did a search for writing tips and found this had the best ideas/info/etc.

    have fun, peace and blessings
    -freya




    Poetry Writing Tips
    An article by John Hewitt
    Note: These are my personal poetic guidelines. I don't guarantee they will work for everybody, and even I will break the rules whenever I feel like it. There are even some contradictions. Take what you like and forget the rest.

    A poem with Love in the title (Or Destiny, Hate, or other HUGE themes) already has two strikes against it. (And I like love poems.)

    The bigger your point, the more important the details are.

    Say what you want to say, let the reader decide what it means.

    Don't explain EVERYTHING.

    Poems that focus on form (Sonnet, Villanelle, etc.) are rarely my favorites, but most of my favorite poets learned how to write in forms before they discarded them. Writing in form is a challenge. It makes you think.

    People will remember an image long after they've forgotten why it was there.

    If you write a bad poem, at least you wrote.

    Develop your voice. Get comfortable with how YOU write.

    Don't be afraid to write from a different point of view. Write a poem that says exactly the opposite of what you believe, and do it without irony.

    When you can't write, lie on the floor a while. (Thank you Jon Anderson)

    Untitled poems are lazy. They're like unnamed children. Obviously their parent doesn't care about them.

    Write in different places. Keep a notebook. Write in a park or on a street-corner or in an alley. You don't HAVE to write about the place, but it will influence you whether you do or not.

    Listen to talk radio while you write. Listen to the people who call. Great characters and voices emerge that way.

    If you don't like a poem or poet, figure out exactly why. Chances are, it reflects something you don't like about your own poetry.

    When nothing is coming, start writing very fast-- any word, phrase or sentence that comes to mind. Do that for about a minute, then go back to your poem. (I call this flushing.) Whether to use anything you flushed is up to you. You can, but that's not the purpose.

    The more you read, the more you learn. The more you write, the more you develop.

    Make a list of poems you can remember specific lines from. Go back and read those poems. Figure out why they stuck with you.

    There are many excuses not to write. Try using writing as an excuse not to do other things.

    Keep a dream journal. Dreams are your mind at it's most creative so listen to it. Don't feel you have to write a poem ABOUT your dreams. If you want to, fine, but the main goal is to see what thoughts the dreams lead you to.

    Subscribe to poetry journals. Give back to the poetry community by reading (and paying for) the works of others. If you don't, what right have you to expect others to do it for you?

    When nothing is coming for you, try analyzing someone else' s poems. (Or even one of yours) Figure out what works, what doesn't work, and why. Think about what you would have done differently.

    Use humor, irony, and melodrama, just don't abuse them.

    Write the worst poem you can possibly write. Use cliché's, pretentious words, and beat your reader over the head with your point. Felt good, didn't it? Now get back to work. The point is, don't be afraid to write a bad poem. If it takes a hundred bad poems before you can produce a poem you like, fine, get that hundred out of the way.

    Dirty limericks can be fun too.

    That one perfect line in a thirty line poem may be what makes it all worthwhile, or it may be what makes the rest of the poem bad. Keep an eye on it.

    Every great poet has written a bad poem, probably dozens or hundreds, possibly thousands. They kept writing though, and so should you.
    Every line of a poem should be important to the poem, and interesting to read. A poem with only 3 great lines should be 3 lines long.

    Poems should progress. There should be a reason why the first stanza comes before the second, the second before the third, and so on.
    Listen to criticism, and try to learn from it, but don't live or die by it. When I was in college, I would always take my best reviewed poem from the previous class and submit it for review in the next. Invariably, the next professor hated the poem, and could provide good reasons why it failed.

    When you write a good poem, one you really like, immediately write another. Maybe that one poem was your peak for the night or maybe you're on a roll. There's only one way to find out.

    Follow your fear. Don't back away from subjects that make you uncomfortable, and don't try to keep your personal demons off the page. Even if you never publish the poems they produce, you have to push yourself and write as honestly as possible.

    Submit your poems. Sooner or later you have to send your babies out into the world to find their way. Emily Dickinson was a fluke, most people who don't publish while they're alive will never be seen or heard of -- no matter how good their poems.
    test
  2. varentao

    varentao New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Messages:
    765
    Yeah, some good points made there. I echo them for sure...

    ..also

    Exercise your writing skills by just sitting at a keyboard/typewriter. Then just letting go, and writing anything and everything that comes to mind. Slowly bringing it more in control to direct through your 'poetic' channels...

    Don't let the mainstream of English language dictate how you write. Write in different accents and dialects if that is how you are writing. Or if that is where you are from. Whatever you are comfortable in.

    Do not let mainstream poetry dictate how you write so rigidly. It comes in so many different forms. Explore, deep within yourself as well as deep within words and how you structure them (er...yeah, that's hard to explain..if someone knows what i'm rtalking about and can put it in mroe eloquent terms...then do so please..)..

    I'll come back with more later.
    test
  3. TuNed RooT

    TuNed RooT Love is introduction ..

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
    Messages:
    869
    Yes, I agree. Good points made, basically all you need to know in the first and second posts made.
    test
  4. varentao

    varentao New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Messages:
    765
    Oh yes.

    Remember to try if the piece can cater for it, to use as much of the 'senses' as possible. You know, along with sight, also smell, hearing, feeling...too many people will rigidly stick to just one or two. Just touch something around you, the curtains, the carpet, brick wall, rotting wood. Smell what is around you, just to help to get you on the right track...you know, get a real feel for it all...
    test
  5. BlackSoultan Ad Infinitum

    BlackSoultan Ad Infinitum aka Billy Shoreview

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 1999
    Messages:
    33,123
    also, if people don't like your poem, force them to tell you why. Sometimes, the reason they don't like it is completely arbitrary, and you can't work with that. I wrote a poem and posted it here called "The Process". The first person I bounced it off of was my girl. She said she hated it and decided to talk about something else.

    Don't let someone do that to you. That's like kicking your son in the teeth and then asking you if you caught the Laker's game.

    When asked why she didn't like it, she said "because it doesn't sound like this other poem I like by Mike Connely". When I asked her what that poem was about, she didn't even know. She just liked how it sounded.

    that was the spawn of an argument. If you are going to bounce your poems off of someone, make sure it's a diverse group of people, all of which have a good enough respect for poetry to tell you why they like it, or are not afraid to tell you they don't like it and why they don't like it.

    It may be hard, but you need to find a collective of objective critiques. You don't want people that are just going to stroke your ego or are just going to not like it for arbitrary reasons. Neither helps you.

    In fact, they work against you as per your development.
    test
  6. BlackSoultan Ad Infinitum

    BlackSoultan Ad Infinitum aka Billy Shoreview

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 1999
    Messages:
    33,123
    Also,

    Sometimes write for no other reason than to get your heart on paper. Write it, put it away, never show it to anyone including yourself for months or years.

    Then go back to it. I've found some gems of inspiration doing that that have lead to future works.
    test
  7. varentao

    varentao New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Messages:
    765
    ^^Agree on both parts...very much so.

    Do you read much poetry Soultan? What i mean by that is, actual books of poetry. From poets that are 'famous'.
    test
  8. BlackSoultan Ad Infinitum

    BlackSoultan Ad Infinitum aka Billy Shoreview

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 1999
    Messages:
    33,123
    test
  9. MisterEThoughts

    MisterEThoughts MysteryOfUntoldTruth

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Messages:
    1,990
    thanks this awesome that u did this very nice
    test
  10. Kareem

    Kareem Still Ballin

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2003
    Messages:
    2,935
    Feme Sole ya skanky slut lets battle
    test
  11. Feme Sole

    Feme Sole Mrs. _Evil

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2002
    Messages:
    37,722
    havent done that in ages......i will consider it though........

    and stay out of this forum if youre going to be an asshole....keep it in the alley funny guy
    test
  12. Kareem

    Kareem Still Ballin

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2003
    Messages:
    2,935
    I Will Rape You Lyrically Ya Childish Hooker
    test
  13. BlackSoultan Ad Infinitum

    BlackSoultan Ad Infinitum aka Billy Shoreview

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 1999
    Messages:
    33,123
    Okay, and I think this should likely be put to a bet:

    How many days before Kareem gets banned?

    I got five on it...
    test
  14. Kareem

    Kareem Still Ballin

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2003
    Messages:
    2,935
    ^ur as wack as ur long ass name mothafucka
    test
  15. augee.ali

    augee.ali Lively Up Yourself...

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2003
    Messages:
    1,734
    ^Somebody please get this young man some pussy...a shot of cognac....a Ritalin tablet or somethin??
    test
  16. GorillaThugMC

    GorillaThugMC Minotaur Orator

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Messages:
    1,074
    *picks up Kareem, and throws him to the ground*

    *pisses in his goggles, 'cause I know he's rockin' 94 style shit!*

    You want to battle?

    BATTLE ME!

    Fucker I'll physically rape you!

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    *pounds his chest*
    test
  17. Kareem

    Kareem Still Ballin

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2003
    Messages:
    2,935
    ^ *rips gorillathugmc's inner organs brakin his rib cage*
    * slappin his white ass hanson lovin face with da back of ma hand *
    and yo when u'll get a sack and a dick and u'll be a man enuff come battle me ya homo
    test
  18. BlackSoultan Ad Infinitum

    BlackSoultan Ad Infinitum aka Billy Shoreview

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 1999
    Messages:
    33,123
    this guy is scarin' me.
    test
  19. GorillaThugMC

    GorillaThugMC Minotaur Orator

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Messages:
    1,074
    White?

    Haha, not only do you not know my nationality, but you also do not know how bad you SUCK and that I could rip you even if I openly bit a verse from Ice Ice Baby...

    Rules: 16 bars, due by tuesday, no d/r votes, crew votes (if your ass can even get in a crew), no family votes, and no gotdamn beef votes

    Set it up!
    test
  20. Kareem

    Kareem Still Ballin

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2003
    Messages:
    2,935
    test
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

Users Viewing Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 0)