At the Summer Institute, Dr. Igloria talked about the presence of lyricism and narrative in every genre. I tried to take what she said and find the tips/ideas I needed to hear. Granted, I might have misinterpreted her and the tips may only make sense to me, but I want to remember them, and will be happy to hear what others think. What’s your favorite writing tip?
1. Take from reality and make it something other than what it is.
2. The power of poetry is its compression.
3. Unexpectedness is important when you write. Make a connection with the reader and then make them think about the topic in a different way. (So the piece should have aha moments.)
4. Every line in a poem has to do work. The second line has to be more powerful than the one before it. The lines have to beg questions.
5. Line breaks occur when there is a break in thought, a break to amp up intrigue, a break to create surprise. The breaks have to be there for a good reason.
6. Every pause or stanza in a poem has to earn its keep.
7. Catalog poems offer image after image; one thing after another.
8. Look at pictures in the news; look for triggers in news reports. These things might allow me to say something new.