I have an energetic, expressive friend who writes cozy mysteries. Her critique partner/ruthless editor happens to be a poet. My friend cherishes this incongruity between them, because who better understands the economy of words than a poet? She says that if clarity is indeed king, and if there is a simpler, more direct way of telling her story, a poet is sure to light the path. (See how I used a poetic metaphor to describe that?)
So, dear writer friends, I pose this challenge to you: write a poem. There are poems inside of you that paper can’t handle. I’m sure of it.
Here are a few ideas for structure to help nudge you to action:
- Identify a theme
- Create a symbolic meaning for the secrets of your heart
- Play with language devices: similes, metaphors, alliteration (Read this awesome PDF about poetic devices. You may find these techniques improve your fiction voice)
- Mirror a rhythm or stanza structure of a favorite poem
- Rhyme. Make up your own words! If it’s good enough for Dr. Seuss…
- Choose a narrator and protagonist for your poem. Have the imagined narrator ask your protagonist five questions. What are his or her answers? Build to a climax
- How many voices are in your poem?
- Revise. Which line should be your opening hook?
Post your poem in the comments below! Follow me on Twitter at @TheRJLacko. I love to chat with writers.