Story Prompt Monday: Try Writing a Poem

poems inside

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.

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Filed under Best Writer Tips, For the love of writing, Writing Prompt, Your highest potential

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