Some still hang
bright and red
Others make like
polka dots, red on
The ones that
fill the gutter
line up like bowling
balls in the automated
Is it the imperfections,
or is it because they're not
already picked, in a bag,
or in a store?
I wish it was my apple tree.
Poetry in memoir is a great way to tell a short story in as few words as possible.
There's no need to rhyme, or overthink the structure of verse of your poem. True some poems are set with strict rules and form, but there's also free verse and narrative poetry.
Writing in a different style or form may be liberating. Why not try it?
Because I didn't know what to write about, I stalled as long as I could and focused instead on gathering my thoughts, finding some scratch paper, stationery, a pen, getting a sip of water, and figuring out where to sit.
It wasn't the first time I'd been stumped trying to figure out what to write. That day it was a letter.
It was the day I heard the neighbor's chickens squawking. And it was the day that changed everything.
The squawking was so loud I couldn't ignore it.
I stopped procrastinating (well, not so much) to look out the window to be sure they weren't under attack.
And that's when I knew what to write about ... the chickens.
I wrote about how the neighbor's chicken coop sits at the low end of the backyard. How we like to sit on the back porch and watch them ... as if we're watching a documentary ... chicken TV, I scribbled.
How when one chicken goes in the coop, they all go in. When one comes out, they all come out. And how they peck, peck peck. All day long ... peck, peck, pecking.
No more ruffled feathers
Those chickens changed everything for me. That day I figured out not only what to write about, but what makes better writing.
Stories. Your stories and my stories. One at a time.
It's impossible to cover everything in one story, so you have to choose one thing to write about.
And then make it relevant.
What's the story behind:
- How you learned ________.
- When you figured out _______.
- What happens when you _______.
Can I help you write, edit, or develop a story? Let's talk.
And in the meantime, download your free copy of the Story Inventory and start writing.
It was in a public speaking class where I learned the importance of the opening line and I think it applies whether you're speaking or writing.
Whatever it is, your opening line should make that person seated in the last row in the auditorium ignore whatever it is they're thinking about—or doing— and look up and listen. And it's the same with your writing.
Grab your reader's attention with your first sentence.
One that makes them want to read the next sentence and then the next, until there are no more to read.
Not sure how to get started? Let me know if I can help.
The Story Line blog is where we share short story memoirs, writing tips, and more.
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