KICKSTART YOUR WRITING: TRYING NEW THINGS TO FUEL YOUR WRITING
Welcome to the Wattpad Workshop Series!
These are free workshops for Wattpad writers who want to be inspired and challenged. You’ll come away with new ideas, new techniques and, most importantly, you’ll generate lots of new writing. The workshops run every Monday on the Wattpad Blog.
To join in: read the post and get writing – post your writing on the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Thread!
Week 22 (Missed the earlier writer’s workshop? Join in with this week, then go back to check out the previous weeks, starting with Week 1, or Week 21)
Last week we added line breaks to original texts while making our own found poems. This week we’re going in the opposite direction, removing line breaks and turning a ‘poem’ into something that resembles prose. The technical term is PROSE POETRY.
Here’s a link that explains prose poetry in full: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5787 and here’s a definition (from this site) for you that’s easy and quick to incorporate into your writing repertoire.
A prose poem essentially appears as prose, but reads as poetry.
There’s an example of a prose poem on this website: http://www.prose-poems.com/edson.html by an author called Russell Edson. Here’s the opening to give you an idea of his wonderful voice and ease with language:
We went upstairs in a canoe. I kept catching my paddle in the banisters.
We met several salmon passing us, flipping step by step; no doubt to find the remembered bedroom. And they were like the slippered feet of someone falling down the stairs, played backward as in a movie.
As you can see, a prose poem has the potential to bring out the strengths and weaknesses of poets and fiction writers alike. You may notice as you attempt this that you struggle with the language of poetry, or you may find removing line breaks feels strange. I’d suggest there is something for every type of writer to learn from this form. Perhaps you’ll discover that focusing on language helps you find your story, or perhaps you’ll find that making something look like prose opens up new possibilities in your work.
I never anticipated that I’d ever be able to use the prose poems I’ve written but one of my characters (from my second novel) ended up interested in prose poetry so I got to use a couple of my own prose poem creations in my fiction. You’ll be surprised how fun, challenging, addictive and useful prose poems can be.
This week’s writing prompt:
This week we’re writing prose poems. Using up to 300 words write a prose poem using this line: life is but a dream.
The line is from a nursery rhyme and a poem is by John Keats. I’ve added the poem below to inspire you:
Can death be sleep, when life is but a dream,
And scenes of bliss pass as a phantom by?
The transient pleasures as a vision seem,
And yet we think the greatest pain’s to die.
How strange it is that man on earth should roam,
And lead a life of woe, but not forsake
His rugged path; nor dare he view alone
His future doom which is but to awake.
Post your responses here at the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Thread! I’ll read and give feedback as often as I can. As a final note, here’s a place to submit your prose poem if you feel like braving the world: http://www.prose-poems.com/submit.html There’s no financial compensation, but it sure can feel good to see your work out there. (If you decide to submit, I suggest waiting for feedback from me and the other writers on the thread first just so you can make your work as good as it can be).