Poetry is more than just rhyming and prose that is in meters and verses. It is an art form. It is something that can not be judged by its cover and can not be critisized to the point where it just “sucks.” Poetry is about expression. Poetry expresses the way we feel on a certain subject through imagery and other senses. It helps us deal with our daily problems, be it good or bad.
Part IV of the 8-Part BRING YOUR NOVEL TO LIFE Series
And now we come to the hard bit. You’ve got your theme, and you’ve figured out how to bury it so that it’s there for you, and SOMETHING meaningful is there for your reader. You’ve let go of the temptation to write a message book—always difficult—and have embraced telling your story for the sake of the story.
Part VII of the 8-Part BRING YOUR NOVEL TO LIFE Series
Over the last six lessons, you’ve figured out your theme, and you’ve worked out at least one and possibly several subthemes. You’ve learned how to use blended scenes, intercuts, and cliffhangers to work both themes and subthemes into your work. You have great conflict waiting to happen. What do you do next?
Recently when I was asked to give a storytelling program at a Saturday night session hosted by our local MetroParks system, the woman who called wondered if I had a theme in mind. What a good idea! It not only helps with their write-up and advertising of the event, but also helps the storyteller plan a cohesive performance. Because I will be telling mid-March, I told her I would focus on trickster tales (in preparation for April Fools’ Day). I already tell some trickster tales – everyone and all ages enjoy them – and I know that there are many more that I haven’t yet discovered and worked on, but will in the next few weeks. This will be the added benefit for me, because I will add some new, fun stories to my repertoire. In this column, I discuss some ideas for themes.
Human beings have been telling stories for several millennia. And, as parents, we’ve all heard about the benefits of telling stories to our children. The only problem is that, as with so many things, no one ever teaches us how to tell a story. The best that most of us can do is to emulate our parents’ and teachers’ storytelling, assuming that they were skilled storytellers.