Writing Exercise #3: Halloween Rhymes

This post is approximately 500 words. 

The following verse represents about an hour’s worth of work, which means it’s not highly polished, yet I still managed to work in rhyme and rhythm with minimal effort.

However, if you’ve ever written a verse in rhyme, you know that sometimes it requires a ridiculous commitment to the style. For me, I usually get about three-fourths done before I start to question my decision. It comes around the time I think, “I need a rhyme for itch: ditch, Fitch, hitch, kitsch, liche, Mitch, niche…” Then comes the expectation that the audience will find the verse absurd because stylistic compromises were made just to get a rhyming word in.

Well yeah….sometimes.

But that’s fine. In a writing exercise, you’re not seeking art or permanence. You’re chasing the muse, curious about where she leads. It’s almost disposable writing, which is not to say it’s worthless. To the contrary, it very well could end up in a finished work. But again, that’s not the point. The goal, the real objective, is to keep your writing tools honed. This makes your daily manuscript work easier because you’ve kept your mind sharp.

In the spirit of the Halloween season, I hope you can enjoy this little cautionary tale, written in the style of old nursery rhymes. Continue reading

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Moving Full Speed At The Starting Line

This post is approximately 500 words.

As a writer, I’m continually looking for ways to say things differently: more concisely, more interestingly, and perhaps most importantly, in a way that you haven’t read before.

cartoon-elephant-skating-rollers-25462068.jpgOne of the more enjoyable ways to accomplish this is using analogies, a sometimes challenging exercise because a bad analogy will fall on its face like an elephant on roller skates.

Good, you’re still with me, despite what I just did there.

In the process of writing this book, I’ve found a new method to be more productive when I sit down at the computer. But before this morning, I didn’t have a way to convey it to others, at least not a satisfactory (i.e. interesting) one.

I suspect many writers are like me in this regard: we want our typing fingers moving top speed the moment we sit down to write. But – he said with a smile at this understatement – it’s hard. Ridiculously so on some days. Much time is wasted staring at the screen or typing the literary equivalent of “Me am good writer who tell good story.” As much as I despise the word can’t, sometimes a person can’t just sit down and start writing. Continue reading