Tuesday, July 29, 2014

TUESDAY TIPS: The Lyric Start

I'VE SAID BEFORE that writing is recorded sound, and that this is the general difference between great writers, good writers and writers in general. When you're enjoying a book, part of the reason is that the writing sings to you. You enjoy the experience of mentally hearing the words.
   So what do you do on those days when you seem to be tone-deaf?
   It happens to all of us. At least I know that it happens to me.
   And when it does happen to me, I usually find the best course of action is to stop writing fiction, get out a pencil and notebook (for some reason, this works better away from a keyboard) and start writing poetry, instead.
   Now, don't go Googling for published poetry by Tom Morrisey. You won't find any; I don't write poetry for publication. But what I do write poetry for is to tune up my writing instrument and get back in touch with the sound of the words and the ways they work together. Usually I write blank verse, and the subject can be anything ... if I don't have a subject, I will look out the window and write a poem describing what I see. Usually, it only takes a few minutes of this to get my writerly voice back into my head, and then I can go back to fiction.
   This technique is not unique to me. I understand that Issac Asimov and Robert Heinlein both wrote poetry to get the current running (the difference being that what they wrote was good enough to publish). And I imagine they did it for the same reason I do it ... it works.

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