Friday, January 23, 2009

Color My World

The Benefits of Prose to Color Your Work...

I’m always asked how people can make their writing have oomph. “Well,” I say, “take a poetry course!”

“But I don’t like poetry,” they say.

Well I’m here to tell you now that you don’t need to like poetry to write better you just need to put to use some of the elements of poetry to make your writing get up and dance. Yes, your writing will dance. It will do a pirouette across your blank screen. Your words will form across the sky and take flight in new directions.

Assonance, alliteration and rhythm; all of these elements digested in poetry will spew forth better writing. Rhythm in writing? Is there such a thing? Yes there is. Have you ever read a choppy book? No? Why not? Because the writer took the time to find a rhythm in his words. The editor/publisher picked up on the rhythm and decided that the book needed to be published.

Having yourself a good poetry critique group will have you becoming aware of your words. You will make every word count and you will also be finding the over used words unnecessary in writing. Being aware of those words that you use a little too much is essential.

So many times I critique a writer and they say they didn’t even SEE the word "AND" twenty times in a paragraph. By writing poetry you’ll know that the word AND is not needed all of the time to finish or begin a sentence to make it complete.

Poetry and prose isn’t all about rhyme. It is about eloquence. The way to make your writing more eloquent is by the feel and flow of the words slipping off your tongue. Some writers have said they never thought to read their work out loud. I say, “How could you NOT read it out loud?"

Do we always read silently? Come on now be honest with me. Don’t most of us at least move our lips or utter an almost silent whisper as we read? Do we all read in silence? If this is true, it’s time to speak up! Feel those words. Speak those words. Realize what you’ve written by SAYING the words.

When I read a poem I can’t help but utter the words, then by some crazy manifestation I’m reading the poem out loud, even if no one is there to hear me. Can you imagine reading Robert Frost’s poem ‘Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening’ in silence?

Well, I once again am going to tell you to speak up! Here the words, feel the rhythm, tap those keys, and make your writing dance!

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