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Posts tagged ‘writing and music’

Editing techniques to make your prose sing

Having been a poet for 30+ years, I know the importance of each word. Every single word needs to be polished and perfect—perfect for our intended meaning, the emotions we want to evoke and the music it brings to our ears.

A great way to learn how to improve your prose is to read poetry. For help developing a daily poetry habit read Carly’s post “Write lyrically by reading poetry.”

The great news is we can apply the lessons we learn from poetry to our prose. It seems like a daunting task, doesn’t it? Every word in your 90,000-word manuscript polished and perfect? Read more

Writing to the beat of a different drummer

Sometimes, getting into my writing groove is about as easy as slipping on my favorite pair of jeans from my freshman year in college. In other words, it’s impossible.

I have various tricks for when my muse needs to be conned into action: wearing headphones to help myself focus, doing a five minute timed write to warm up my writing muscles, or giving myself a reward when I reach my word quota for the day—maybe a small piece of chocolate (hmm…is this why I can’t fit into those jeans?).

Sometimes, I write to music to help myself stay focused. For my current project, I’m creating a playlist that so far includes Moonlight Sonata, Adagio for Violin, Bach, and Lorenna McKennitt. While writing my memoir, I listened mainly to Norah Jones and Brandi Carlile. Different books inspire different music and vice versa.

But sometimes other sounds can help me write too. Read more