Why is it good to try writing poetry? Part 4

Courage - Part 4In Part 1 on this topic, I wrote about using a basic three verse poem to expand on a story idea.

 

 

In Part 2, I took it to the next level with three more verses to beef up the information about the story.

In Part 3, I listed the ingredients I would consider when writing a short story.

I have now written a short story from scratch, based on that simple poem displayed in Part 1 and Part 2. Until I completed the story, I used the same working title as used with the poem. A working title allows the writer to get on with the writing. Too much time can be spent procrastinating about the right title.

Like everything else you’ll read in my blog, I have my own theory with regard to titles. I believe it’s much better to work on the title after the story is written. The story may change slightly from the original idea (which mine did), but the title must still do its job – and attract interest. As soon as the first draft of my story was done I found I’d gone over my self-imposed 1500 word limit by 150 words, so I trimmed it to 1500 words.

I saved the story and then spent about 15 minutes writing out every title idea that came to mind. The whole story was fresh in my mind so I ended up with about 20 titles. Titles are easy, but the appropriate title is the one that works. Here are my top three:

– Death and Glory
– Diary of a Warrior
– A Time for Courage

In my final post on this topic I’ll produce the short story, which by then will only have been edited in a couple of rapid sessions, so it may yet change. I do feel it will still round off the task I set myself with this mini-series of posts.

Remember, there’s no reason why you couldn’t use this system to write a novel. My novel ‘Beyond The Law’ started out as an experimental poem, which stretched into a series of 26 poems.

As always, thank you for your indulgence.

 

Why is it good to attempt writing poetry? Part 2

Courage - Part 2Okay, so in my first post regarding this idea, I mentioned that a poem was effectively a descriptive piece of writing, or in other words a story.

I also suggested that a simple poem of no more than three stanzas (verses) would be enough to give us the beginning, middle and end for a short story idea.

Those first three stanzas took less than 10 minutes to write. They gave a simple beginning, middle and end.

Instead of using something so raw, I thought we’d investigate the idea of adding a bit more meat to the bones; a little more information, in rhyme. The original three stanzas will be in a darker colour to make them stand out. I will only add three more stanzas.

‘A Fighter Pilot’s Day’

Klaxon’s two-tone screams

pierced the morning air

Eager ground-crew teams

aircraft to prepare

                 .

Jack took off in his plane

a fighter in the air

He’d be shot at once again

at fear again he’d stare

                  .

A German ‘ace’ called Schmidt

espied the lead Spitfire

His weapons button hit

sent rapid streaming fire

                   .

The dog-fight was Jack’s worst

his craft was torn apart

Damaged by a burst

of bullets at the start

                   .

Jack’s plane dived towards the land

and o’er the coastal town

This end he hadn’t planned

as he glanced around

                 .

Landing would be hard

to miss the town he’d try

A field was Jack’s last card

he accepted he might die

I believe that’s the basis of our experimental short story. In the next two days I personally will be writing a short story and for now, retaining the working title used here. In my next post, I’ll make a short list of the ingredients I’ll consider, combined with the information supplied in the poem.

Please bear in mind that the poem has only taken about 20 minutes to put together. A lot of writers might spend much longer just toying with their first line of a story.

If anybody out there thinks they could produce a short story between 1000 – 1500 words based on this poem, please have a go, and we’ll give them an airing in a few days.

Thank you for reading, and as always, all comments are welcome and will be answered.