March 21st, 2017


Writing Excuses 12.12: Words as Words, with Linda Addison

Writing Excuses 12.12: Words as Words, with Linda Addison


Key Points: Picking the exact right word, for the shape, sound, visual space, as an object unto itself, independent of meaning. Taste your words, feel them, find the rhythm, the breaks. "Poetry is to be read like a fine meal or a fine wine, one sip at a time." Journals! Write down anything and everything, then go back and pull out words and ideas and feelings. Write stories and turn them into poems. Write poems and create stories out of them. Take words out. Change words. Read them out loud. Create a startling image. Change hard and soft words, or sibilants and bebop. Take out the most important word, and let the reader put their own ideas, their own breath, their own emotion in there. Play with the rhythms of poetry, to learn them. Make them an unconscious rhythm that you can draw on. Poetry, like music, is organic and normal. It's the cadence of storytelling around the fire. Whether you want to write poetry or something else, pay attention to word choice, the music of words, and to words as words.

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[Dan] So, you said that you had a little writing prompt to throw at us at the end?
[Linda] Always. I mean, it may be something I end up building my life poem on today, because I haven't done it yet, but it's four words. I would suggest playing with something that starts "Driving through the tears."
[Dan] I like it. All right. So there's your writing prompt, dear listeners. You are out of excuses. Now go write.