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.

 

Spinning Plates …

Look ... no hands ...

My drawing for this post is a nude study I completed in March 1985.  I remember it took about three hours.  I still consider it to be one of my best of that time.  This is one of very few ladies drawn naked because I prefer to draw them partially clothed. 

Decided I had to check in here with an update.  I now have three short stories on the go and an appropriate piece for the monthly magazine Scottish Memories.  I’ve completed the writing but I want to edit once more before it goes to the magazine.  I’m considering a sidebar menu for features and articles.  It would make sense since I’m getting back into my studies with my Creative Writing course. 

Over this last week I’ve been enjoying my favourite writer’s latest tale, THOSE IN PERIL by Wilbur Smith. It has all the usual WS ingredients like adventure, larger than life characters, death and heroics.  I’m savouring this one because it will doubtless be a while before his next. 

On the Starlite Cafe site I read a poem about a lad being taken to a brothel by his father as a treat and an introduction to sex.  The comments I noticed didn’t seem to be concerned with the poetic tale itself but with the subject matter … prostitution. 

The comments rather than the poem got me thinking that there was a need for a wider explanation of the topic.  Not that I’m an expert, but I’ve written a piece which in the next two days should be ready to post.  All I ask of readers is that they remember it is personal observation, not banner waving support of the industry. 

Hopefully now everybody who reads this will be waiting impatiently for my poem about prostitution.  I’ll post a link for it on Facebook and I’d like to think it will be read with an open mind.