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Posts tagged ‘Dean Koontz’

Ideas that grow on trees

One of the questions most asked of writers is, “Where do you get your ideas?” It’s a question that stumps us sometimes because the answer seems so obvious.  As creative types, we’ve trained ourselves to find ideas everywhere we look.

Recently, I was at a poetry reading where I tried an experiment. As I listened to the three poets read, I jotted down any words or phrases that struck me or grabbed my interest. Here are a few from my list: an old vocabulary, etymology, smuggling the universe, the safety of seduction, mouths pucker, cornucopia. 

I’d been having difficulty with the ending of a poem but at the reading, I had an inspiration of how to fix it. Now, I think the poem is one of my best. Read more

Ground your readers and they will follow you anywhere

We know the importance of a good beginning. First line, first paragraph, first page is your opportunity as a storyteller to hook your reader, to get them interested enough to want to read more.

Nelson Bentley, wonderful poet and professor at the University of Washington for 40 years, used to say this about poem beginnings, “Give the readers a place to stand, and then you can take them anywhere.” This same advice holds true for all writing.

In journalism, the fives W’s (who, what, where, when, why) and one H (how) is a formula drilled into young journalists for getting the full story. They are instructed to get as many W’s into the lead as possible. But how do we do this in art without turning it into dry, boring facts?  Read more