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Archive for the ‘inspiration’ Category

I don’t write comedy. I might have amusing scenes, or light-hearted poetry, but I am not someone who is skilled at the laugh out loud moments.  I’m thinking about this, because this week I went to see the funniest play I can remember, The Play That Goes Wrong

Comedy is most definitely an art.  Depending on the nature – physical, reflective, political – completely different skill sets are needed.  For writing, it’s also about picking the perfect words.

I don’t think I have ever really appreciated the art involved in creating a funny, engaging, novel. Most of the comedic poetry I have discovered is quite light, nothing to get you thinking too deeply, but that isn’t the same with a book.

For novels, there’s got to be engagement and sustained levels of comedy over 70,000 or more words.  It sounds impossible!

I am trying to think of a few that are genuinely comedies (rather than simply witty or light-hearted) and am going to have to review a few.  I would really like to understand how it can be done!

I am never likely to write a truly comedy novel, but I might see how to tie in a few more smiles for readers.

Plus, what a great project to see me through the autumn: books to make me laugh!

If you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments…

Happy laughing!

EJ

🙂

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Let’s start with the slight panic.

The open mic event is coming along fast, the advert is out and the local community aware. Unfortunately, an emergency local meeting has been booked at the same time as our event.

Naturally, this has an impact on who can take part: some of the writing group might miss our own event!

My best plan is to move our event forward by one hour and hope this minimises the issue. However I have gone from frustrated to upset to sanguine and back round a few times over the weekend!

If all else fails I will keep in mind the immortal cover words from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Don’t Panic

Beyond that, it’s all progressing pretty nicely.  We’ve got a few performers lined up, the performance poetry is shaping up well and there is a new vigour in Creativity Corner. The writing group has been joined by a painter and we are going to open up Thursday nights for a selection of creative ventures – hopefully a dedicated space with different artistry will bring us all some new inspiration.

In the meantime I am having dragons painted on my shoes, which will keep me happy for months!

There is still no time for reading properly, although I gave myself Saturday night off anything in particular so I could watch Doctor Who. It was raining and miserable outside and I needed some escapism, so I went right back to the start of the reboot.

Sometimes you just need to switch off thinking, stop thinking about rhyme schemes, and watch a wooden box fly through space…

I am back to work now though.  From now until we go away for the family wedding I will be trying to finish my current work in progress; when I get back I have 3 days to choose my pieces.

I am amazingly confident I will have a good selection to share!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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As I said at the weekend, I am not reading as I am focussed on writing, so there’s nothing book- related today.

Instead, I opened a book at a random page, closed my eyes and pointed, and the sentence has to inform my next poem.

I chose Wild Swans by Jung Chang.  The sentence reads:

But all this introspection was really designed to serve no other purpose than to create a people who had no thoughts of their own.

So that’s my next challenge…  A few ideas are swimming in my head; I just need to land one!

Happy reading,

EJ

🙂

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There’s no real post today as writing continues, so this is just a quick update.

I have done the first draft of the spooky poem.  It’s about ghostly visitations and I am enjoying writing it.  It has a proper rhyme scheme, which I don’t normally use, but it’s fun to try.

I have started work on a poem about environmental differences which was inspired one lunchtime – I work in an industrial area which is surrounded by countryside so depending which direction I look I can see either fork lift trucks or fields. That got me thinking about the juxtaposition of the two, which led to the original draft of the poem.

I still have one more to write up before Thursday’s writing group but I am happy with progress.

I haven’t been reading but that’s ok for now.  I will pick up on a new book when I feel I can give it a bit of focus.

So that’s where I am now – I keep on keeping on!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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Although my writing focus is on poetry at the moment, I continue to practice some of the writing tools I have found useful.

One of these is reading the news with an eye to an interesting or unexpected story.  As someone deeply engaged in politics I also read political blogs and websites to understand different responses to those stories.

This is proving to be a real eye opener – although I don’t agree with many responses I have a much better comprehension about why some people want to see the world structured in particular ways.

From the human, bloggers for peace, point of view, understanding is imperative to social cohesion.

From a writing point of view, it’s a great way to test out characters.

You can take any character you have written and imagine them reading a post.  What do they think? How do they react? Is the topic something they would have a strong reaction to or discuss with friends? What is their political point of view? Are they engaged with current affairs, do they watch the news or read a paper?

You might never write about anything of this nature but it doesn’t matter: the better you know your character, the more believable and consistent they will be.

So if you find yourself reading something which doesn’t reflect your view, take a chance on it, and read through the eyes of your character. It might provide the spark of engagement you need to find.

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

 

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There’s not a lot more to say since Thursday’s post, really.  The advert for the open mic night (I have gone for the more common spelling now!) has been submitted to the venue and the local newsletter. I will be posting it on facebook and locally in the village too but probably a little closer to the time so people don’t forget about it!  Writing is as it was, with a side order of dark nights and horse races to add to the poetic pot.

I am still not reading enough, and have to focus on that tomorrow evening if I am going to give you the promised post on Tuesday.

There’s not always a lot to say during the writing process but maybe next time I can give you a rundown of the poems I intend to share on the evening.  I will almost certainly share my village walking one, as people will recognise the scene, but beyond that I really am open to persuasion on anything.

Between now and then I have a family wedding so I am sure I will get a few upbeat ideas there too.  If I can get a mix of nature, political, fun, supernatural and – possibly – funny, I’ll have covered all my current interests and all poetic bases.

That’s the plan, for now.  Let’s see where the month takes me!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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I am a fan of the supernatural, when it comes to tv and films.  Not the gory side, but what might be called ‘magical realism’ in books. A vampire slayer here, a zombie detective there: things which marry everyday experiences with the trials and tribulations of a secret otherworldliness.

It’s not something I particularly look for in my reading, or in my writing – but as I prepare a few pieces for open mike night I have the urge to write something poetic about it.  Maybe a vampiric verse, or ode to the undead.  Or perhaps a more prosaic approach, talking tv.

I don’t know what, if anything, will work but it’s a challenge I quite fancy taking on.  New approaches don’t always work but they are always worth trying.

It might even create an opportunity for me to be comedic in my writing, although that could be a step too far…!

Whatever oddness ensues, it’ll be an interesting experiment.  I’ll start by watching a few a few shows for research, to get a feel for the balance between reality and the supernatural.

It’s a hard life!

Happy writing

EJ

🙂

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I utterly failed to write a post on Tuesday, sorry.  I am enjoying my book but have been writing and seeking out writing inspiration more than reading in the last couple of weeks so the book is a little neglected.  It has been left behind, which is the first part of this week’s title!

So what is the right, I hear you ask (humour me here!)?

It’s writing.  Writing is going right.

This week, as a bit of an experiment, I wrote song lyrics.  I was pleased how well they turned out, because I wasn’t expecting much!

I helped one of my writing buddies when they were stuck and couldn’t get their idea to form the verses they wanted.

I got the ad for the open mike night sorted out.

I had a really great writing session today.

I can feel the positivity in me.  That is definitely something going right.

It’s made a difference to have a new writing zone, even if I sometimes run the risk of being sidetracked…

So yes, I am a little slow at reading at the moment, but it’s good to have positive writing outcomes. It’s not a bad compromise, really!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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On Thursday I said I was writing a poem inspired by an anniversary. Specifically it was a 20th anniversary celebration for a couple in my family.

I worked on the poem for a couple of weeks, which isn’t long for me and I felt a little worried that I wouldn’t reach an end point that made me happy.

However, I knew what I wanted to say, so it was just a case of finding the right words and style.

I say ‘just’; it’s not that easy, but I had a start point which is important for these very personal pieces.

I began by writing down the concepts in verse form, each stanza 6 lines long.  As I refined and reorganised the poem it took on a new form with a distinct repetition pattern.

The final form was five couplets, and one single line to start off. I had reached that style by Thursday when I took it to my writing group, so from then onwards it was simply about refining word choice.

I gave the poem to the couple on Saturday night, and although I will always see ways I could refine my work further I was happy with the result.  I think they were too: it is now a cover photo on Facebook!

I find writing for loved ones more demanding than other work – I think because it’s so important to find the right words for them as well as me. I don’t and can’t do it for every big event or celebration; this was the fifth specifically personal poem including two for funerals and the one I wrote for my own wedding!

There have been times when I planned to write but can’t get the right words or the right feeling. It will always be an exception to write something as a gift because it will always be an exception for the writing stars to align.

But when it works, and is enjoyed, it really is a great result for me.

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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I went out for a writing session today, looking for an hour of different scenery to refresh my mind.  My writing buddy unfortunately couldn’t make it so I took my husband along.  We both had projects to work on so it made sense to do it together.

But instead of writing, we started talking to people, and that talking led to more talking, and soon we were due to head back home without ever taking our notebooks out.

It could have been a wasted evening, but talking to people, learning their stories and sharing anecdotes was a joy.

Recently I sent two poems to a cousin of mine – one biographical and one autobiographical. I have been thinking about writing more in that style, as a counterpart to the more political pieces, and listening to funny stories and observations today made me decide to do it.

Everyone’s experience of life is unique and we all have a share of emotions and expectations. What better way to celebrate our shared humanity than immortalising moments in poetry, sharing them like gifts?

The next few months I just need to convince a few people to share moments that made them, them, and produce something that captures who they are.

No pressure!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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