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Writer at Work

A Thought

Posted by blck_phnx on 2007.02.18 at 20:15
Current Location: the desk--my corner of the universe
Personal Tone: pensivepensive
Current Inspiration: nothing, other than the people's down the hall
Tags:
Subject is the title of this poem...more like a broken paragraph, but that's just the style. No rhythm, no rhyme, no scheme...
Inspired by the comedians mentioned in my latest post (sorry to those who can't see it...I did put a friends lock on it, just because I don't want it completely public...but I'll probably be removing it tomorrow.
I wrote it here once I got back. Haven't revised it, so it's very rough-draft-ish, just-got-the-feeling/idea-out, wih no tweaking. But, I thought I'd post it here anyway. A little musing on my part.

People are amused

by bringing other people down

Those on stage

tailor to their audience—

Afterall,

who’d want to be booed off?

It makes me wonder

if that applies to

those situations

How can anyone

be sure

that those they

encounter on the

stage of life

or relationships,

of friendship or otherwise,

are being true?

That they

themselves

are truly how they act

Or do we all just tailor

to our current audience?


First Nations - Native Pride

Pacing

Posted by garowyn on 2007.02.16 at 11:05
Tags: ,
Pacing a story. Tips? What should I be keeping in mind as I write?

dragon

A Nit Picky Question

Posted by tawnykit on 2007.02.10 at 15:41
Current Location: my room
Personal Tone: busybusy
Current Inspiration: Sting: Stolen Car (Take Me Dancing)
Tags: ,
Okay, this is probably just me being nit picky, but...

Ellipses. Gotta love 'em. I just have one teeny, tiny little question regarding them:

In a fictional story, ellipses are generally used a) in text, to indicate that a character's thoughts have trailed off, or b) in dialogue, to show that a character's words have trailed off. Right?

My nitpicky question: If words follow an ellipse (id est, it is neither the end of a paragraph nor a sentence) do you include a space between the ellipse and the following word?

Example:

"It's... my fault."

versus

"It's...my fault."

Does it even matter?

footprints

Tip

Posted by aldecoary on 2006.12.12 at 09:46
Personal Tone: anxiousanxious
Tags: ,
If some topic (or style) to write about seems boring or mundane to you, that's when you ought to write it. Extraordinary in the ordinary, for the cliche. But truly, it's a worthwhile exercise trying to make brushing your teeth interesting to a reader. And once you can tackle that sort of thing, the rest of your writing will be stronger.

It's also these boring everday tasks that can be most helpful in allowing you to learn about your characters. Learn what sort of walking habits they have, when and how many times they brush their teeth, what sort of underwear they wear, what sort of meals they prepare, etc.

We are writers; everything we do, we make it interesting. :)

footprints

Describing and adding action

Posted by aldecoary on 2006.12.12 at 08:18
Personal Tone: nervousnervous
Current Inspiration: "March Intercollegiate" stuck
Tags: , , ,
I'm going to answer a specific question here (and to you whose question it is, as you're probably going to be one of the first to see this, if you'd rather I didn't, just say so.) because maybe I should post here once very few months at least. ^_^;;

Just so you know, when I beta something and don't give suggestions, it means one of a few things. It could mean I didn't bother to think of any, so I've no idea how difficult it may end up being. It could also mean I wracked my brain, could think of nothing appropriate, and so said nothing. Or it could mean I stopped myself because I felt I was taking over the story...

Now, tips on adding and describing action to a mostly summarizing and "telling" section. Read more...Collapse )


evil

Opening Lines

Posted by tawnykit on 2006.11.23 at 20:07
Current Location: my room
Personal Tone: blahbleh
Current Inspiration: nada... maybe if I put something on I'll get inspiration?
Tags:
You know what I really hate about starting a new story?

Thinking up the opening line. It has to have the right feel to it. It has to hook the reader without giving away anything that you don't want to be given away. The first sentence can make the difference between success and failure; you can turn away readers who might otherwise be your biggest fan, or you can hook readers that might otherwise not be interested.

Okay, maybe that was a hyperbole. Just a bit. You'll have to forgive me; I'm currently suffering from first-sentence-angst. So... does anyone have any good tips (or bad tips -- it'd still be more than what I have now) for thinking up that great first line?

evil

Music

Posted by tawnykit on 2006.10.14 at 20:47
Current Location: my room
Personal Tone: chipperchipper
Current Inspiration: Within Temptation: Angels
Tags: ,
I'm curious as to the role music plays in your writing. Are there any specific tunes you listen to when you write? Do you play things that help you get into the right feel for the scene you're writing? Do you assign your characters theme songs that you play when you're writing about them? Is music an inspiration for you? Something else? Or do you have no idea what I'm talking about and think I'm a nutcase? ;)

Personally, I do all of the above (including the part about thinking myself a nutcase), so I was just curious about what other people thought/did.

footprints

Sentence Constructions

Posted by aldecoary on 2006.10.04 at 17:07
Current Inspiration: Blackmore's Night: "Street of Dreams"
Tags: , , ,
I have been misleading in the past, criticizing all "it was" and "there are" constructions as weak. The truth is, naturally, that these have their own strengths. Using a lot of them weakens them and a lot of any "be" verbs is weak and boring.

But if you want to emphasize a certain part of the sentence or you simply can think of no better way to state something, this is the way to go.

Skipping all the grammatical nuances that go with it, the "there construction" emphasizes what immediately follows the "there." Ex. There's a fly in my soup. The voice naturally goes up at "fly" and descends from there. So if you have something to stress there, use it. Contrast that with the adverb "there" where you are pointing out a particular something. Ex. There's that fly in my soup. Apparently, this fly goes into soup a lot.

The cleft sentences adds an "it was" or whichever introduction fits the sentence. Again, whatever immediately follows this is emphasized and what gets the most attention. Ex. It was Mary who wrecked her motorcycle in Phoenix.
vs
It was her motorcycle that Mary wrecked in Phoenix.
vs
It was in Phoenix that Mary wrecked her motorcycle.


Listening to how you say the above really helps.

footprints

"Poet Speak"

Posted by aldecoary on 2006.09.26 at 12:05
Personal Tone: sicksick
Current Inspiration: I'm humming
Tags: ,
When writing poetry, I have learned--for this day and age and for the particular style we are in--we must do away with "poet speak." That means, no romantic language, ballads to tree stumps or the like. Very depressing (and just one side, I'm sure). So I have some examples from my own writing that can help tighten up a poem and make it more realistic. Plus, poets often don't want people to know it is a poem. When you use certain dialect, it's obvious it's a poem, and that can turn people away instantly. Instead, it is interesting and inspiring to read something or hear it and then be told it was a Shakespearean sonnet and you had no idea. Makes it more impressive, I think.

Examples:

"I was of skinny years" is not something people say. Instead, write it something like "Back in my skinny years."

"Bend to breathe their scents and leave the earth's small colors on Her breast" (yeah, I had fun with this one) could be better expressed as "Don't pick the flowers." I'm doing this very quickly, so there are better realistic phrases one could use; I simply don't have time to investigate them right now.

My prof's: "Upon my walk along the trickling creek" can easily be turned into "I walk along the trickling creek."

footprints

A Poetic Idea

Posted by aldecoary on 2006.09.15 at 08:29
Personal Tone: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Inspiration: Gackt: "Tsuki no Uta," "Mirror"
Tags: , ,
Using a fixed form or specific rhyme scheme in a poem can be difficult and binding, it's true, but it can also aid innovation. For instance, by staying in a rhyme scheme, it forces you to use words that don't seem to go with the topic, but in using them, you'll create better metaphors (conceits, actually, and John Donne is a good writer of them) instead of the boring cliche ones.

For example, my professor forced himself to write a poem where he rhymes "love" with things. And naturally, the first thing he had to rhyme it with was "dove" because that's the cliche, what every love poem seemed to have. But from there, he moved on to near rhymes and eye rhymes and ended up making a poem completely unlike the usual love ones a person initially thinks about. It was about a woman with a fur coat and...can't remember it all, I'm afraid.

A better (but still not the best) and simple example: Take the word "cat." Yeah, rhyme it with "pat" or "scat" or "fat" or "rat" at first, but then move into words like "combat" or "chat" or "wombat" or "gnat." And if you can fit them in to make good sense, you'll have a better poem.


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