Hello SEers! This is D.L. Finn, Denise, and I’m excited to be here today and part of such an accomplished group of authors.
For my first post, I decided to talk about something dear to my heart, poetry. It’s a beautiful art form that allows me to express my feelings and observations. But more than that, it’s allowed me to become a better writer. It is the soul of my writing.
This developing skill of picking impactful words has helped with my fiction writing. I tend to be a wordy writer. Applying what I’ve learned in putting poems together, I cut out those extras that the reader won’t miss and tighten up my work. That removal keeps the story moving. A reader doesn’t want to stumble over unnecessary words that don’t need to be there. They may stop reading at some point.
Another thing that can make people put a book down is a lot of telling over showing. In the first draft of a story, I tell the story to get everything down. My next step is to expand on the ideas and paint a picture of what the characters are experiencing, much like a wonderful poem will do.
In poetry, I want the reader to feel they are there with me, like sitting on the back of a Harley. I take out a pen and paper and write what I feel and experience. I want to share the wind blowing through my hair, the sun warming my face, the splendor of the river, or the choking smoke from a distant fire.
That’s carried over into fictional writing when the characters can give the reader that glimpse into their lives. Is the wind making the character’s eyes water, the sun burning their skin, or the winter air causing goosebumps? Can you hear the leaves crackle as the character hikes through the forest, and what does it smell like? When a character has time to sit down and eat, is it bitter or sweet? Does it evoke emotions, make them choke, or sigh in satisfaction. A good story makes the reader taste, smell, and feel that story.
When I’m reading an excellent book and run across a beautiful passage, I stop and enjoy the poetic prose. Have you come across a paragraph that makes you stop and say, wow? It’s like a beautiful painting, and each stroke blends into a picture that takes your breath away. How our words are placed helps create that moment.
If you want to learn more about poetry, there are classes to take online or at local schools. Many blogs offer advice, challenges, and there are poetry books and magazines to explore. It’s a fun way to tighten up writing while adding some flow and beautiful images that draw the reader into the poetic prose within your fictional story.