Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Get Those Ducks Moving! A Poem-Writing Exercise of the Week for Book Writers


Step 1: Create one sentence for each of four plot points in your book (peak moments, external movement, change).
Step 2: Create one sentence for each of four different character’s shifts (internal change in the character, realization moment).
Step 3: Create one sentence for each of four different setting details (with something from the five senses associated with each).
Step 4: Create one sentence for each of four objects or memories associated with the book.
Step 5: Find one musical detail in the book (sound or rhythm).

Take all the above musings and write a four-stanza poem about your book. Use one plot point, one character shift, one object or memory in each stanza. Then try to get something rhythmic or musical in each stanza.

Thanks to Stuart Dybek's interview in Novel Voices (edited by Jennifer Levasseur and Kevin Rabalais) for the inspiration for this exercise. My book-writing class loved it!