PDA

View Full Version : Question for people who write poetry and fiction



Stew21
01-21-2007, 07:45 PM
I seem to be writing them from different places in my brain. I have been trying and can't seem to make the transition. Is this common? Does poetry just come from "some other place"? I don't want my fiction to be "poetic" necessarily, but it certainly would be nice to tap into that place for metaphor and description.
I can't seem to get through the wall between the two types of writing.
So, if you write both, do they come from the same place?

KTC
01-21-2007, 07:53 PM
Let yourself go, Trish. You are holding yourself back. Poetry is like one pot of paint and fiction is like the other. Let them bleed together. You have to release the button yourself. You can do it. (Actually, IMHO you already have. I have read your fiction remember. It's got a poetic feeling.) Just let the two merge organically.

Stew21
01-21-2007, 07:55 PM
I really do feel like I"m holding myself back. That's exactly what it is. sigh...I have some writing to do today, maybe a short story to practice on to get it where I want it.
Maybe I'll write an entire short story blank screen and see if it finds me in the dark.

janetbellinger
01-21-2007, 08:03 PM
I don't know. I have to consciously hold myself back from being poetic in my fiction writing, because if I don't, I'm told my writing is too flowery.
I definitely work against any poetic inclinations when I am writing fiction.


I seem to be writing them from different places in my brain. I have been trying and can't seem to make the transition. Is this common? Does poetry just come from "some other place"? I don't want my fiction to be "poetic" necessarily, but it certainly would be nice to tap into that place for metaphor and description.
I can't seem to get through the wall between the two types of writing.
So, if you write both, do they come from the same place?

maestrowork
01-21-2007, 08:05 PM
I agree with Kevin. Let it go and see what happens. Another thing I do is that before I write my fiction stuff, I write poetry until I'm just so full of it (so to speak) -- it helps bleeding through to my fiction later on. You can always edit LATER.

Stew21
01-21-2007, 08:08 PM
I don't know. I have to consciously hold myself back from being poetic in my fiction writing, because if I don't, I'm told my writing is too flowery.
I definitely work against any poetic inclinations when I am writing fiction.\

I have the opposite problem, mine seems too dry. My poetry isn't really flowery though, so it certainly wouldn't add that element, but I would love to use the visual/metaphor elements more easily. I would love to tap into it.
I have to try to break through it.

KTC
01-21-2007, 08:10 PM
I think I've said it here before, every time I open my WIP I also open another word file. I start by writing a poem or two and then flip over to the WIP and start writing. Poetry has always been my leaping off point. I even do this before starting a freelance project. It's like taking a hit before starting work.

Stew21
01-21-2007, 08:22 PM
So do you think it is that I might be trying too hard and I have to just use the tools I have without thinking too much about them? It's like sports, if you think too much about your swing, you screw it up, whereas if you are slightly distracted, you just go naturally with what you know.
I'm psyching myself out, eh?

Pat~
01-21-2007, 08:23 PM
I think though they may merge, they do come from different 'places'. I've found that listening to great music sometimes gets the poetic juices flowing. You might try that...

maestrowork
01-21-2007, 08:24 PM
My creative process is somewhat like Kevin's, but at the same time, I am not really a poet. When I write poetry, it comes out dry and uninspired and I don't use a lot of metaphors, etc. Or at least I think so. When I write fiction though, I put myself in a dream state and I see a movie and words just pour out sometimes because I need to describe these things not just "dryly" but with vivid senses and emotions and I want it to be lyrical, if not actually poetic. I find that getting myself into that mode (especially the fact that I need to use the fewest words to convey and evoke the most) helps put me in a good starting point. I write visually, even in poetry, so that REALLY helps me with my fiction.

p.s so to come back to your point, Trish, I think it's true that you do need to let loose and not think too much about it. Let it swing. Let it flow. I find myself writing the most beautiful prose (to me anyway) when I really, really let loose and just let myself get lost in my world.

Stew21
01-21-2007, 08:27 PM
Ray, you write fiction like I write poetry.

maestrowork
01-21-2007, 08:51 PM
And you write fiction like I write poetry... I think too much. I can't relax or let loose. I worry about my word choices, etc. It's usually a struggle when I write poetry. And that's why it's a GREAT thing for me to do before I start writing fiction.

Stew21
01-21-2007, 10:00 PM
ok. today I am going to try something different and see how it goes.
Thanks,
Trish

aadams73
01-22-2007, 02:10 AM
Trish, you might try just writing the story, then on a second draft, layer in the more poetic touches. That way one won't interfere with the other.

'Course, I could just be full of it. :)

Stew21
01-22-2007, 02:36 AM
I don't think it will manifest in draft 2 if it wasn't there in draft one, A. In fact, I'm sort of worried that it won't unless I learn it (or allow it, as the case may be) to be present in the writing process before that time.
What if I just can't access that part of my brain and my fiction never gets the benefit of poetic sensibility? I guess it means I'll never be a very good fiction writer? Or maybe just accept that they are different. I don't know.
I'm going to do a couple of exercise with short stories and see if I can't bridge the gap. Otherwise, the mediocrity will rule the longer works.
Of course I come to this thought after I've set a strict deadline for the wip...
I'm just going to have to write through it. THing is, the most recent chapter I can barely read without cringing. It's just not that good. Is it the story or the writing. Maybe I"ll just try to write this chapter over.


Now I'm second guessing everything. This is a very bad thing. the self-doubting, self-sabotaging internal "what the hell do you think your doing" critic is back...ggrrr...

maestrowork
01-22-2007, 03:17 AM
Or try it the other way. Write your fiction as if you were writing poetry. You can always rewrite it and expand the prose in subsequent drafts.

E.g.:


He cringed, wondering
if his wife was going
to drink again
That part of her
always
pained him
Whenever she passed out
He rocked himself
to sleep...

Then later:

He cringed. Past episodes flashed in his mind and he wondered if his wife was going to drink again. He sunk into his chair and watched her sleep. That part of her had always pained him. Whenever she passed out, spread across the floor like a swastika, he would rock himself to sleep.


I know this example is not very good. But you get my drift. Use your poetic brain to draw out the words. Set up the scene for yourself and then just let your poetic side take over. Write some long, wonderful poetry. Then later turn it all back into prose...

Would that work?

Stew21
01-22-2007, 04:14 AM
It's a nice idea, Ray. I'll think on it tonight, and maybe give it a shot tomorrow.


thanks you guys!

Shadow_Ferret
01-22-2007, 05:12 PM
I don't see that you need to write poetry to write interesting metaphors and beautiful descriptions. I think you just need to visualize the world through a child's eyes. See the wonder and beauty of the world and then describe it that way. I don't write poetry, don't even like poetry, but I like to think I can write fiction that contains "poetic" elements.

Stew21
01-22-2007, 08:15 PM
I know not everyone has to write poetry to write fiction, SF. I just mean that I feel my fiction is stifled and it feels like they are written from different places in my brain. I'm trying to combine the two, let those two writing brains merge somehow.

I'm still working on it but fear I may be thinking too hard and need to set myself off center and write and write and let go. I think Kevin and Ray are right, I have to trigger it, I have to let it go.
I do appreciate the "view from a child's eyes though" you are so right about that being a place of good writing.
Thanks!

Trish

Stew21
01-22-2007, 08:18 PM
I posted this in another thread to someone else, but I have to admit that while I was doing some reading last night for my latest story I came across this quote and nearly fell over, since, well, it is so much associated with what I am putting myself through. I am analyzing and that is bad.
Here's the quote, just for some thought:

Ernest Hemingway on F. Scott Fitzgerald:

"His talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterflies wings. At one time he understood no more than the butterfly did and he did not know when it was brushed or marred. Later he became conscious of his damaged wings and of their construction and he learned to think and could not fly any more because the love of flight was gone and he could only remember when it was effortless."

Norman D Gutter
01-22-2007, 09:40 PM
Trish:

I felt "called" to write fiction before I felt "called" to write poetry--though the two callings were really not that far apart, maybe 15 months or so. I personally don't find much connection between the two, except that I hope the economy of words demanded by poetry will spill over to some extent to my prose.

NDG

maestrowork
01-22-2007, 10:27 PM
Trish, good quote. Think about this. Does a kitten know it's cute? Does a swan know it's graceful? Does a butterfly know it's beautiful? They just are. I think awareness is good in that we know what we can do and what we need to improve. But what Kevin and I and Hemingway (not that I'm comparing myself to Kevin or Hemingway :) ) said about "letting go" and just "be" is a very powerful technique, if you will, for a writer. I find myself writing the best when I'm not aware that I am "writing." That I'm actually involved in the story and really, really let loose, not trying so hard to come up with something beautiful or smart or brilliant.

davids
01-22-2007, 10:37 PM
WRITE TRISH WRITE-KEVIN IS RIGHT-MAESTRO IS RIGHT-RIGHT-WRITE WHATEVER COMES OUT-WRITE WRITE-STOP-DO NOT WORRY-WRITE-IT ALL COMES FROM THE SAME PLACE-THE HEART AND THE MIND LIVE IN IT-THE SAME PLACE I MEAN-WRITE-WRITE-WRITE-AFTER-CUT-CLEAVER-NIP-TUCK-FIRST-WRITE WRITE WRITE-LOVE DAVE