Tag Archives: On Writing

Learning about prose, poetry and verse

I am an almost entirely self-taught writer and artist, I have never received proper formal training in my creative endeavours; the closest I believe would be the English Literature GCSE I did in distance learning college when I was twenty one; I am never sure if my grammar or punctuation is correct and I have little confidence in how professional I come across.  I am confounded when I hear that many writers will edit and reedit their work even before they blog it, to me, every blog post, every blog poem and story is a first draft – is this really so bad to confess?

I never really had proper schooling as a child either; my time within the educational system was sparse with long bouts of home education where my very dyslexic and sheltered mother would be my only teacher.  Even as a home educated child, I was mostly self-taught via books from the library or videos and magazines – I never got my hands on the internet until my seventeenth birthday and I only got it because my mother was pushed into it by both my brother and society as a whole – because when I reached college age, most things I needed were online and hard to find offline.  My pleads with my mum for the internet were only heard when several times we entered stores inquiring about college books and other things I needed for my studies and was told to go to the web – which for several weeks my mother thought was some new brand of shop and she kept looking for it everywhere, until my teacher explained to us both the web was actually the internet.

I never learned, even to this day the difference between poetry, prose, rhyme, haiku and song.  But I am starting to learn – better late than never, eh?

Rhyme and poetry, are they the same?  I don’t know yet – but it is prose that throws me.

Haiku explanation is the simplest of the lot – but what makes a song?  Is a song really a long poem that repeats itself?  I think it is, but not clear.

This is why I lump all those things together in tags – most of my things are rhyme or poetry I believe, though I am not sure I quite understand how to create a stanza – what is a stanza?  Is it just a paragraph?  I don’t know, I am still learning.

This blog is as much about my learning of the craft as it is my doing of the craft.

I must admit, other than just doing the craft, I don’t do much learning of it.  I never actually went out of my way to read books about how to hone my craft and understand the terminologies – the only exception to the rule are the books I read on how to write fiction and how to write generally – such as Stephen King’s On Writing and Julia Cameron’s the artist way and that sort of thing.

It is only recently that I learned to try and not to write numbers down like this, I was 21yrs old and I ate 5 mouthful of peas – instead I know that I should write I was twenty one years old and ate five mouthful of peas – it seems rather basic, but they are important things to learn.

I consider myself an artist, though I have never sold a piece of work purely on the base that I never know if my work is finished properly enough to sell – for example, do I have to varnish a painting or preserve it in some way and if so how and what do I do?  I have researched this online and I don’t find the kind of help I need.

So this post is just letting you know that I am still on a learning curve about what a poem is and what is prose?

 

 

 

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2.5 hours sleep

Having only 2.5 hours sleep last night, I am quite surprised at how my brain is on top form this morning; something that’s been a struggle for over eighteen months now.   I scored 821 points in online scrabble and I’ve written over one thousand words before noon that’s going to be published on my blog, this is a record for me as I tend to linger over one thousand words in a whole day that’s usually utter rubbish and will never be published anywhere.

The post I wrote for my blog will be published on the 8th August so keep an eye out for it as there is something in this post that will be the main theme for that day.

That is…

As a writer I procrastinate profusely because I am overloaded with more ideas that actually knuckling down to work. I get an average of two novel or short story ideas a day and I have over seven large files containing just ideas, some of these ideas have been with me since I was ten years old and they are so vast (as in an epic series) that I can’t actually believe that anyone would actually want to publish all that drivel without severely abridging my work (insert pained expression here).

One of the main reasons why I have been afraid of professional success has been that an editor will come along and say to me; “cut this out and this and this and this” and I will be standing there agape and aghast that they dare think that they are gods of my worlds! Demons of apocalypse, back away from my creations you heinous, cruel, heartless reapers of my poor innocent imaginary friends, BACK AWAY NOW! (Holds up baseball bat in defence of my many worlds). Oh, OK, maybe I can kill a few darlings as Stephen King would suggest in his book “On Writing”, but it will be painful and they will be mourned by no one else except for me. Damn being a writer is depressing.

Anyway, focusing back onto this subject – I’ve tried to force myself to concentrate on one main story for the last few years and you know what? I don’t think my brain can work that way. I think I need to have many stories on the go at once, I know when I used to be like that I was more productive as a whole and I was told by a college lecturer (of GCSE English Literature) that if I want to be a writer I should focus on one story at a time or else I will become confused and so will my readers. Actually thinking back I think this is bullshit because as a writer I do more than just write my work, I actually read my own work too and edit to the best of my ability – so what utter tosh.

Since 2002 I’ve been working on a fantasy comedy based around some drunk leprechauns, I have the beginning, middle and end, but I have got bored with it seven chapters on because of computer faults deleting most of it with corrupt files etc., after four occasions where this happens and you have no hard copies you get a little disheartened with the story and start to wonder if the story is bad luck, don’t you? Well I do.

Anyway, between writing the leprechaun comedy, I’ve been writing snippets for an epic vampire series – something I’ve been working on since I was ten years old, god I love vampires.

The vampire stories will never be neglected, they are always added to at least once a week, even if it’s just a sentence, they will never be forgotten, because to me, they are my family and I will defend these stories the most if I ever feel brave enough to trust them with a publisher.

Over the years, before I started to concentrate on just one or two, I had started two dystopian stories, a comedy about a female wrestler, a comic about a cat, a comic about a sex crazed astronaut nun, a comic about dominant women invading a planet for mates, a crazy millionaire woman who kills herself after committing murder, a novel about a plague survivor, cowboy vampires, and a console addict sucked into a computer world – to name but a few.

Some of those ideas I gave up because I found similar books or movies during the writing of them by accident and was concerned of plagiarism, but having original ideas is difficult – so therefore I may start some of them up again and do them anyway soon.

No matter what genre I write, I don’t think I can help but have some humour in my stories – I would not be at all surprised if I eventually get coined as a crossover author for horror, fantasy and comedy.

I am starting a horror novel today, based on the advice of my husband and the fact that I am enthusiastic about it and it’s fresh in my mind – so, here I go…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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