RamblingVerses Newsletter – Episode III – November 2008
Welcome to the third Story Institute newsletter. We’ve waited until now to release this edition, so…No time for wasting…let’s rambling on through the storylines…
Writing through the words…
Now is the time to write. Empower yourself to deliver the stories that lie within. November is National Novel Writing Month. So, break out the scrap paper, the simulated, onscreen paper, or the trusty, somewhat dusty notebook and write. Just sit down and do it. So far, we have focused on your muse…so, you should have the inspiration…and belief…without which your characters would not be real…wait a minute, they are characters…
Choose whether you need to outline your storyline or just jump into the writing. If you choose to outline, be consistent in formatting. Short or long outlines depend on the writer. With short outlines, you can save some of your words for the story itself and breathe life into the story. With longer outlines, you can simply fill in the empty spaces and provide transitions to your world of imagination. If you choose to just jump into the writing, feel the pen, pencil, or keyboard. Search deep inside for the inspiration and let your creativity flow through the writing instrument as you conduct your verbal symphony.
Think of topics with which you are comfortable. Remember though that being a writer involves writing. So, compose every day. Find a small space, find a time, find a reason to write. Enjoy becoming a part of your thoughts instead of the controller. Enjoy becoming a part of something bigger instead of just something. Enjoy being a writer.
Write because you said so…
Why did I write? Because I found life unsatisfactory.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.
For a more meaningful reflection on writing, Oliver Wendell Holmes shares great images and encouraging words…read carefully, and re-read it. We all miss something the first time…
A Familiar Letter
By: Oliver Wendell Holmes
YES, write, if you want to, there’s nothing like trying; Who knows what a treasure your casket may hold? I’ll show you that rhyming’s as easy as lying, If you’ll listen to me while the art I unfold.
Here’s a book full of words; one can choose as he fancies, As a painter his tint, as a workman his tool; Just think! all the poems and plays and romances Were drawn out of this, like the fish from a pool!
You can wander at will through its syllabled mazes, And take all you want, not a copper they cost,– What is there to hinder your picking out phrases For an epic as clever as “Paradise Lost”?
Don’t mind if the index of sense is at zero, Use words that run smoothly, whatever they mean; Leander and Lilian and Lillibullero Are much the same thing in the rhyming machine.
There are words so delicious their sweetness will smother That boarding-school flavor of which we’re afraid, There is “lush”is a good one, and “swirl” is another,– Put both in one stanza, its fortune is made.
With musical murmurs and rhythmical closes You can cheat us of smiles when you’ve nothing to tell You hand us a nosegay of milliner’s roses, And we cry with delight, “Oh, how sweet they do smell!”
Perhaps you will answer all needful conditions For winning the laurels to which you aspire, By docking the tails of the two prepositions I’ the style o’ the bards you so greatly admire.
As for subjects of verse, they are only too plenty For ringing the changes on metrical chimes; A maiden, a moonbeam, a lover of twenty Have filled that great basket with bushels of rhymes.
Let me show you a picture–‘t is far from irrelevant– By a famous old hand in the arts of design; ‘T is only a photographed sketch of an elephant,– The name of the draughtsman was Rembrandt of Rhine.
How easy! no troublesome colors to lay on, It can’t have fatigued him,– no, not in the least,– A dash here and there with a haphazard crayon, And there stands the wrinkled-skinned, baggy-limbed beast.
Just so with your verse,– ‘t is as easy as sketching,– You can reel off a song without knitting your brow, As lightly as Rembrandt a drawing or etching; It is nothing at all, if you only know how.
Well; imagine you’ve printed your volume of verses: Your forehead is wreathed with the garland of fame, Your poems the eloquent school-boy rehearses, Her album the school-girl presents for your name;
Each morning the post brings you autograph letters; You’ll answer them promptly,– an hour isn’t much For the honor of sharing a page with your betters, With magistrates, members of Congress, and such.
Of course you’re delighted to serve the committees That come with requests from the country all round, You would grace the occasion with poems and ditties When they’ve got a new schoolhouse, or poorhouse, or pound.
With a hymn for the saints and a song for the sinners, You go and are welcome wherever you please; You’re a privileged guest at all manner of dinners, You’ve a seat on the platform among the grandees.
At length your mere presence becomes a sensation, Your cup of enjoyment is filled to its brim With the pleasure Horatian of digitmonstration, As the whisper runs round of “That’s he!” or “That’s him!”
But remember, O dealer in phrases sonorous, So daintily chosen, so tunefully matched, Though you soar with the wings of the cherubim o’er us, The ovum was human from which you were hatched.
No will of your own with its puny compulsion Can summon the spirit that quickens the lyre; It comes, if at all, like the Sibyl’s convulsion And touches the brain with a finger of fire.
So perhaps, after all, it’s as well to he quiet If you’ve nothing you think is worth saying in prose, As to furnish a meal of their cannibal diet To the critics, by publishing, as you propose.
But it’s all of no use, and I’m sorry I’ve written,– I shall see your thin volume some day on my shelf; For the rhyming tarantula surely has bitten, And music must cure you, so pipe it yourself.
Paper…Purchase the Potion
When I was younger, I began writing because it was not only something I could do by myself, but it was inexpensive…I didn’t have to ask anyone for money…I just had to find a notebook. Since they are needed for school and they are only a small amount of money, I would always justify an extra one…you know notes and such…
When one of my friends would get ready to throw out their notebook, after the quarter or before summer, I would take it…As I got older, I started buying the 3-subject notebooks…to hold more notes, of course…Now, as an adult, I find myself needing to purchase a 50 cent notebook every once in a while to get the creative juices flowing…computers are great, but they are no notebook…
When you find yourself looking for a topic for your poem, short story, or novel, search the web, but don’t forget to look around you. Return to the simpler times…return to the notebook…Enjoy…
Clouded Resources – Write Now
Here are some of the many resources on the web for empowering yourself to write…Good luck…
Writing and Reading Communities
National Novel Writer Month – http://www.nanowrimo.org/
AuthorsDen – http://www.authorsden.com/
Experience & Advice
Writing Excuses – Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler, Dan Wells – http://www.writingexcuses.com/
Advanced Fiction Writing – Randy Ingermanson – http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/art/snowflake.php
About.com – Fiction Writing -Top 7 Signs Your Short Story Wants to Be a Novel – http://fictionwriting.about.com/od/novelwriting/tp/novelworthy.htm
The Voice of Your Muse – Mark David Gerson – http://markdavidmuse.blogspot.com/
Writing, Editing, & Publishing Services
Agent Query – http://www.agentquery.com/
Writers in the Sky – http://www.writersinthesky.com/
Createspace – Publishing – http://www.createspace.com/
Visit us at Story Institute for other ideas and writing prompts…http://www.storyinstitute.com/
To take RamblingVerser with you or read it offline, download the PDF version here: