Culling the Poetry

The Heartstorming part of the Shortcut to the Scene exercise (from my last blog) may be a new concept for you. If you’re having trouble letting go and allowing your inner poet to babble, you could try this poetry exercise as a warm up.


          Write a stream of consciousness page on something other than a scene from your novel. It doesn’t matter what you say, but try using a topic that holds plenty of emotion. Something frightening or heartbreaking or hilarious or inexplicable.

          Afterwards, take a highlighter and mark your favorite phrases. Even if you don’t think there’s anything worth keeping, choose ten or more phrases that you like. Start with your very favorites and work down. Then line them up like a poem, enhancing the phrasing or not, whichever appeals to you. Finally, read it back as if it were composed as a poem.

          Have fun. Good luck. And if you come up with something you love, feel free to send it in.


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