And last but not least, our prompt (optional, as always). Today I challenge you to write a “mix-and-match” poem in which you mingle fancy vocabulary with distinctly un-fancy words. First, spend five minutes writing a list of overly poetic words – words that you think just sound too high-flown to really be used by anyone in everyday speech. Examples might be vesper, heliotrope, or excelsior. Now spend five minutes writing words that you might use or hear every day, but which seem too boring or quotidian to be in a poem. Examples might be garbage disposal, doggy bag, bathroom. Now mix and match examples from both of your lists into a single poem. Hopefully you’ll end up with a poem that makes the everyday seem poetic, and which keeps your poetic language grounded. Happy writing!
The more time I spend blogging. The more time I put into it. I think I have been writing a blog for three or four years now. At first, I wrote randomly and not often. I did not know much about WordPress and how it worked but I have learned many things about blogging and writing along the way.
At first, I was focused mostly on my writing and improving how I wrote. I think it has become a continuous goal for me to improve my writing but I have discovered so many fascinating and informative blogs from others along the way on how to improve my writing. One extremely helpful blog is Ryan Lanz who often has guest bloggers on any number of topics about improving your writing skills. Also, Amirhosein Ghazi has a number of posts on improving your writing.
These blogs and many more have been immensely helpful in crafting my writing. I know there is mistakes in everything I publish. No matter how hard I try to proofread and edit, mistakes always slips through. And if it wasn’t me, it was auto-correct on my Iphone or Ipad. Auto-correct drives me crazy at times! But do know, on my actual blog, I always correct my writing. So, if something is not making sense on the blog sent to your email you can always go to my actual blog homepage and the mistake should be corrected. I adore writing but my weakness is editing. I learned this through three editing courses through Simon Frazier University. I was going to do a certificate in Editing but an editor who only catches sixty or seventy percent of editing mistakes isn’t good enough to edit professionally.
Courses that have also been of great aid to me have been Creative Writing
courses from the University of Alberta and Simon Frazier University online. Blogging courses through WordPress have also been immensely useful. I have meant many other bloggers through these courses and connected. I have also learned much about my writing and how to better be an honest storyteller. I have picked up tips such as ‘showing’and not only ‘telling’ in a piece of writing (thanks to Priceless Joy). I have learnt how to be more descriptive but also learnt one can go overboard with descriptive words. One interesting aspect I have learned is when your characters are having a conversation the word ‘said’ is alright to use over and over again. You can insert a few other words when the situation allows such as ‘shouted’ or ‘murmured’ but in general when your writing creatively in a story, you don’t want to throw your reader off by doing what we were all taught in high school and even in university to do. Donot write ‘said’ a different way every time it needs to be used.
Another great piece of advice given to me by Andy (whose blog I couldn’t find for you) was to make something happen in the story, an inciting incident and/or a problem. He used the example of Lord of The Rings: Frodo has an evil ring and stays home and drinks tea, isn’t an exciting story; but Frodo has an evil ring and goes out on an adventure to destroy the ring, is a great tale.
I have also learned to leave out certain words. It is a difficult objective to achieve with some of these words. These words include words such as ‘very,’ ‘quite,’ ‘just,’ ‘obviously,’ ‘rather,’ and the hardest word ‘that.’ In a writing course in university I was also told never to start a sentence with ‘this,’ but I haven’t managed to not use ‘that’ and not use ‘this’ at the same time. Maybe you will have better luck. If you are not sure if any of these words don’t work try writing a sentence you were going to use them in without these words because your sentence will sound clearer. Certain times I believe you have to use one of these words. Such as maybe something was actually obvious in your story. Or you have to use ‘just’ or another word because it is how your characters talk, In real life most of us talk using these words but talking can be different then writing.
Anyways, I have done many WordPress courses. I have done writing, blogging, and photography multiple times. I have done 101 and 201 courses.Not only meeting and interacting with other bloggers is important but reading varied takes on a prompt. Other people have ideas you would never think about writing about. Each person has their own experiences and imagination to draw from. Other bloggers and these courses fuel me with thoughts for future blog posts. They give me ideas or I become aware of different writing challenges being held such as Flash Fiction writing prompts through pictures, daily word prompts, and events going on in the larger writing community such as National Writing Month for poetry or writing a book. Additionally, the blogging courses taught me how to improve the look of my blog to be more professional and to expand it to other types of social media. I’m not sure my blog is completely professional looking yet but it gets better through time. And I hope more professional, the more I write and learn how to use WordPress blogging tools.
Something I have truly tried to focus on is adding new bloggers to receive posts from and reading other bloggers work. It is impossible to read every blog I get but I do try to read most of them. The list keeps on growing but there is only so much time I can do this in. Blogging is becoming a career. I spend time writing my blogs, time appreciating other bloggers who comment on my work, and commenting on other blogs I enjoy. It is excellent to be able to have your work critiqued and to critique other people’s work. It adds to your own writing of blogs a great deal. Also, it is interesting to note in challenges such as Flash Fiction, what each writer will perceive out of one picture used as a prompt.
My greatest discovery lately comes from a lady who tells you how to plan
out a novel in a serious of blogs. I’m excited to try her method and make my novel come back to life. I’m unsure whether to re-plan or start a new novel because I have been stuck on this manuscript for almost a year. But I like my characters a great deal. You can check out what I am talking about here by Georgina Cromarty. I have linked you to part 1 of her Simple Guide to Writing a Novel. I believe she is on Part 6.
So in closing, thank you to everyone who has ever read, commented, glanced, critiqued, agreed, or disagreed with my blog. A blog is supported by a community of readers and writers and I’m thankful for you all.