Everything about books and writing

Month: October 2019

Why Poetry is Important In Today’s Society

Poetry is a genre within literature that is characterized by its beautiful words and lyrical style. Many poetic devices and styles of poetry have been preserved for many centuries from rhyme schemes to types of poems (like the haiku or limerick or the tanka). On one hand, poetry is an ancient form of literature and storytelling that dates back to Homer and the ancient storytellers. On the other, poetry is a very new format that blends many modern perspectives and tastes into its words.

The blend between the olden days and modern era is actually extremely powerful and also elegant. Great poets write are able to take advantage of the structures that were presented by old styles of poetry to tell new stories and share new ideas that are important in today’s society. For example, rhyme schemes, pacing, and poetic devices have worked and still continue to work. Poetic structures also drive emphasis to certain words and certain areas. Think about something like an iambic pentameter. As a reader, you know where the down beats are and thus what words people will naturally focus on.

Or perhaps the formatting of poems. The way poems are laid out can call special attention to things in the poems. There are many tried and true ways that have worked for centuries to place emphasis and lead the reader’s eyes along poems. 

The central themes of the poems have changed over time and actually reflect what the times cared about. In ancient times, poetry often recounted the feats and feats of warriors in combat, while in the Middle Ages, romantic poetry gained importance. Today, poems focus on social issues, equality, peace, and emotions. Poetry has always been an important form of expression and thus reflects the changing times and beliefs. Poetry has become a tool over time to convey new ideas and share what people care about. At one point, it was military victories. Today, it’s the environment. Or human rights. Or equality. Check out places like Button Poetry or Youth Speaks for prime examples of this.

In today’s world, poetry is a beautiful and artistic way to express oneself and be heard in the sea of noise. While everybody in politics argues and fights. There’s fake news and contentious debates. Poetry shines through as a simple and elegant way to fight for what the people believe in. A way that is both engraved in our path, and tied to our future.

Rupi Kaur is one example of such a poet that has done well in this new age. Not only is she extremely famous for her writing, she has also positively impacted many and influenced many with her words. Poetry sites like Instagram, Commaful, and AllPoetry have given rise to new breeds of poets.

She’s certainly a controversial figure. Many have said that her poems aren’t actual poems. Others have challenged that her poems are extremely superficial and have no depth. One thing is certain, however, her poetry has touched many people and influenced many lives.

There are a number of modern self-published poetry authors as well, focusing on reaching the masses with short bite-sized poems. These poets leverage online platforms to reach poetry lovers and sell poetry books. Another controversial style and move.

Poetry is special in that way. It means something different to everybody. To some, it might be junk. To others its art. But what’s important, is that the words are touching somebody. Impacting lives. Leading to new and interesting discussions and ideas.

Because that has been poetry’s impact on history. And poetry’s impact on society today.

How to Write a Novel: The Hows and Whys of Story Outlines for Fiction

Writing a novel can seem intimidating to a lot of authors, but it doesn’t have to be. If you think of a novel as a collection of thousands of words (sometimes upwards of 150, 000), it seems like a mountain where you can’t even see the top – but if you learn how to approach your novel with a story outline before you’ve written a single word, it becomes a much easier process instead.

Here’s how to approach your novel or story with an outline – and why you should.

Every Story or Book Has a File

Get into the habit of giving every story or book that you start its own file or folder. This can be handwritten or it can be electronic – that’s up to you. Your file is used for recording any changes, any important plot points, any character traits and anything else you think of that builds your story.

Why do this? It’s a quick-reference guide while you’re writing your book – and it can help you have something to go back to when you aren’t sure about something. (How do you think JK Rowling kept track of the spells throughout the entire series without a single mistake?)

How to Start an Outline

Start an outline anywhere and any way you like. Some writers start out with keywords that outline important plot points or characters, other writers will write down sentence snippets or paragraphs that they would like to include in their book later.

Your outline needs to answer basic questions: What happens in this story? When does it happen? How does it happen? Why does it happen? How you get to answering these questions is up to you.

Why Outlines Are Important

Outlines are vital for fiction. Sure, there are a precious few writers who can spot an entire book’s worth of plotting without having to write anything down – but it’s likely that neither of us count as one of those.

Outlines help. They can help you to see where the plot of your book is going: This is the trick to inserting clever plot twists and coming up with a great ending.

When you see your story at a glance as an outline, it’s easier to shift things around, make major changes, insert great plot twists and come up with an ending that fits with the beginning of your story..

If you aren’t outlining your fiction, you’re tumbling around in the dark and you, the writer, has no idea where your story is really going. This can lead to the insertion of a lot of loose plot points and inconclusive side-plots.

See why you should always outline?

Notes, Notes and Notes

Other than an official outline for where you’re going to take your book when it comes to the characters and plot, it can help writers a lot to also keep a separate file or book for notes. These are notes that you write down whenever you think of something could that could work for your story.

When writers sit down to think of ideas, this in itself sometimes creates a form of writer’s block where they can’t think of a single thing. Keeping a notebook on you at all times helps to avoid this problem: Whenever an idea pops up, write it down. After a few months worth of writing down your ideas, you’ll have a notebook with plenty of ideas to refer to when you’re feeling blocked.

Always keep your notes. These can be useful years down the line, and can ensure that you literally never run out of ideas and concepts to fire up your fiction.

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