The home of writing award ideas and practical advice for story contest success.
waiting for a sign–
if only there were a word,
hollow echoes tip-toe
where thoughts once raced
woven webs of silk
clinging to thought process
muse trapped inside,
we must free ourselves
from this emptiness,
find our way,
regain the crown
An easy, step-by-step guide on how to begin your pantoum. I love the simplicity of this article and the way they walk you through what COULD become a difficult form.
A pantoum poem looks like it is a difficult format to follow, but in reality it is just a lot of fun. You follow a recurring outline. The pantoum uses four line stanzas. You repeat lines throughout the poem. Lines 2 and 4 of a stanza then become lines 1 and 3 of the next. By using this structure you give the poem its cadenced quality. Follow the instructions below.
1. Write a four-line stanza. Use your imagination; try to make the lines emotional. Just like with any other poem let the words take over.
2. Lines 2 and 4 of stanza 1 now become lines 1 and 3 of the next stanza.
3. Creating lines 2 and 4 so that connect lines 1 and 3.
4. Repeat the outline. Lines 2 and 4 of the second stanza become 1 and 3 of the third. Repeat this until you have…
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Psst. Hey. You there?
Alright, lean in a little closer. Okay, here we go:
Most times I feel like a writer. I didn’t say I am.
When I sit down with a pen, a scrap of paper, a keyboard, a screen (with odd scribbles which Thing 2 called “art” created by an eraser), I feel at home. Perhaps you too have a hobby, something that completes you, calms you, allows you to become one with that part of yourself the world tries to snatch away. Painting? Composing? Tinkering with cars?
Simply put, I am most free and in my element when writing. And I can’t explain it with words, even though words are my passion. But here’s the secret: According to e-readers and book stores and publishing houses and agents, I’m not a writer; they’ve never heard of me! Well, maybe a few bookstores, but that was a magazine and it was a long time ago. Does it matter? Not really. Because this is what I do. It is what I was doing long before blogs and huge social networks and the “sharing” frenzy.
Yet, I think there are differences between writing, publishing, and authorship. Some of my favorite bloggers are writers. Of course they are! (Duh, they wrote something.) Have they been published on a grand scale, other than their own blog? Maybe. Maybe not. Do I still love their honesty, their humor, and their unique voices. Of course. Are they authors? Depends on how you define that. I say yes.
Here’s the other secret: All the how-to’s and do’s get a little overwhelming. Show, don’t tell. Okay. Don’t screw up the first five pages; you’ll get trashed–at best, thrown in the stack of slush. So I’ve heard. Write about what you know. Got it. What about what you don’t know. Huh? Now I don’t know what I know.
See what I mean?
In the end, just write. If it’s in you, you’ll do it anyway–because you can’t stop; that writer’s itch won’t let you. Write for you. For them. (If you want to) For us.
And now, for a list overdue. A few blogs/sites I’ve come to enjoy. I hope they don’t mind. If they do, they can always email me or comment in the comment box and say, “Hey, take me off there.”
P.S. Because I am technically challenged and have tried to insert to no avail, I will simply list their names and you can take it from there, technical experts.
And there are many more but we’ll take it slowly. Even better, check out the blog roll. If I missed you here, don’t spaz. I’ll be back.
I hereby take your creative license:
Overly Dramatic/Excited Writer
I can’t believe he did this to me! What am I going to do?!!!
See, it all started when he didn’t show up for wedding rehearsal. I mean, we met in, what, 1996? Or was it 1998? Anyway, two days ago he decided he didn’t like his tux. Then he didn’t like his best man. Actually, he swung a blow at him two weeks ago, no, that was in January, or some time around the Super Bowl. He was drunk and livid that his team lost. I don’t remember which team. I haven’t even told you who “he” is, have I? His name is Brad. But back to what I was saying about wedding rehearsal….
The Telling You Instead of Showing You Writer
(Of course you could read the above example, but for fun’s sake…) Susan is angry, and slightly crazy.
The Grammatically Challenged Writer
It is I who said, just the other night, something ain’t right wit Brad. He my fiance. Me and him supposed to be getting married tomorrow but he seems to be missing and I ain’t been able to find him nowheres.
This is stoopid. Brad’s emmbarrassing me on the most impotent day of my life.
I angrily stomp outside, grab my cellphone, and quickly text Brad. It is precisely six o’clock. Unfortunately, he’s acting irresponsibly. Why isn’t he answering my calls. I try again, more urgently this time.
The Combo Adverb/Adjective Abuser
The air is hot and humid and dreary and misty and stifling, and I feel scared and used, as though the entire, family-filled sanctuary is laughing secretly, quietly, at me.
The raindrops slide down the mosaic windows like tear drops from my eyes. I stand alone at the altar like a ship abandoned at sea. I am to pain as knife is to flesh. I am dead.
Your turn. Give out the tickets:-)
Freestyling makes for a natural feel and is often used in poetry. I myself prefer freestyle as opposed to confined, traditional poeming. However, when it comes to story writing, this method may turn out to be…not so fun.
Sure, initially, the freedom of letting one’s story drive recklessly in the wind, with no destination what-so-ever is cool. Then, perhaps somewhere down the line, chapter seven or eight maybe, one realizes the entire novel has drifted precariously into No Man’s Land without so much as a road sign leading the way out.
When it comes to writing (anything other than poetry, and sometimes even then) an outline is a must. (Unless you want to revise your manuscript 10 or 15 times. Okay, maybe 30…)
OUTLINE–DON’T START WITHOUT IT
I call it a perfect day; the clouds are dark and the sky hazy, there is a light drizzle that sets in for the entire afternoon, and streetlights have a somewhat ambivalent glow. I ponder what to do on such a cozy Sunday. Should I do the average–cook, clean, iron in preparation for the following week? Or should I indulge in cyber space, or, perhaps, a couple of sitcoms from my Golden Girls DVD set?
The room is quiet, nothing but the soft hum of an electric heater, which, in this house of noisemakers and aspiring harmonica players, is rare.
“I could begin the revision of chapters five and six of my novel,” I think to myself as I lay down on the oh-so-cozy couch. Yes, I can do that and then cook and iron while I watch television. (Talk about multi-tasking) I wrap a blanket around my body as I mentally go over this to-do list.
However, the tapping of rain on my tin roof (so glad we did that last year), along with the warmth of the room, lulls me into slumber. A nice, quiet place were there are no bickering children, or music making devises, or request of one’s time…
Sometimes all a writer needs is…rest.
Have a great Sunday, fellow bloggers:-)
Just thinking about that feeling of being the scared kid at the recital. He has two choices: to sweat and play or cry and run offstage. But guess what?
gains even less
if he doesn’t
So play, dernit, play! *
*Taken from my journal post at bluegreenlilac.livejournal.com