Tag: rules

NaPoWriMo 2019: Day 1

NaPoWriMo 2019. Or National Poetry Writing Month

For the last couple of years I’ve taken part in NaPoWriMo, where I try to write a poem every day in April. I’ve really enjoyed the process. It’s got me back into writing and has helped produce some of my favourite poems. And some of my least favourites, but the beauty of this writing exercise is you carry on regardless. I also really enjoyed publishing them in public last year. It forced me to be accountable to myself and not skip any days, whilst also trying to make them as good as possible.

If you want to see my attempts from 2018, I’ve released all of last year’s poems for free as an ebook. Go check it out.

So onto this year. I’ve written a lot more poetry this year and even performed some. Still, I would like to attempt NaPoWriMo again. The timing is not fortuitous, I’m changing jobs in the middle of April, but we will see how it goes.

Last year I generated the title using a random word generator. Arbituary rules make everything better, so here’s my personal rules for this year:

  1. The length of the poem will increase depending on the date. So I will start with a one-line poem and end with a thirty-line poem
  2. I can use a random word generator if I get stuck but it doesn’t have to be the title, it can just be used for inspiration.
  3. All poems to be published here and on Twitter and Instagram.

Should be fun. Here’s the super short day one:

Mute

In darkness, snapshots of dying stars stay silent.

#napowrimo Day 1

I’m doing this again. Last year I quite enjoyed the process of creating a brand new poem every day in April so have decided to do it again.

Here’s my rules for this year

  1. Use a generator to get a random word.
  2. Write the poem, using the random word as a title.
  3. Post it here and on social media.

Last year I didn’t post all the poems I wrote. This year I’m going all in. It’s going to be interesting as one day isn’t much time to edit.

Here’s the first:

Habitat

We have hibernated in woollen throws
Slept for months wrapped in frayed
dressing gowns, underneath so many
King size thirteen tog duvets.

We shuttered the vertical blinds
And let winter proceed without us.
We retreated from the iced world
And the continual cover of grey.

Now, soft light knocks on the door,
Invites us outside once again.
We peel off our blanket skins
And emerge into the spring sun

Shivering and shaking new,
We see a world creating blooms.
A world learning to be itself again,
Ready and waiting to be explored

Always more to learn: Thoughts on ‘Wonderbook’

I’ve finished reading Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff Vandermeer. It’s a great read, full of useful information and exercises. Mostly, it is a nuts and bolts guide to stories and their various elements, characters, plotting, but the way it presented and the advice it gives about the imagination make it truly unique.

There’s a whole industry of books that tell you how to write. This one isn’t aimed at the absolute beginner, but at those who are already writing fiction. The best advice for a beginner is to write often and write lots, whereas this focuses more on the structure and building blocks of stories. Generally, I find this construction work to be more useful in the second or third draft, when you are polishing the writing. The book is filled with extensive ideas help optimise drafts, from varying character’s perspectives to the role of settings. These are really useful as references when you need to change a story that isn’t working. Although you can read the book straight through, I found these lists to be more useful as guides to refer to later. The wealth of resources in this guide is staggering. In addition, there are pieces from well established fantasy writers throughout that offer different perspectives, as well as a whole host of online articles.
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