Posts Tagged writing craft

Every Line A Break, Every Break A Transition

by Ron Hayes In poetry, transitioning from idea to idea in a poem (or scene to scene, or between characters’ points of view, or what have you) seems a lot less complicated than in other genres of writing. You’d think it’s as simple as beginning a new stanza: end the line, hit the Return key […]

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Workshopping 101

by Ron Hayes Full disclosure: I’m a snob. A HUGE snob. When it comes to writing (and poetry in particular), I chafe quickly and easily when bad verse is foisted onto an unsuspecting reader—especially when that reader is me. The proliferation across the Internet of exploitive sites that prey on the earnest honesty of new […]

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What Truth Is

by Ron Hayes for Philip Levine, 1928-2015 It’s a common affliction among us poets that early in our formative years we put pressure on ourselves to swing for the fences. We obligate ourselves to compose the poetic equivalent of a walk-off grand slam that will proclaim our own greatness and announce to the world the […]

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Welcome to the Cruellest Month!

by Ron Hayes In the immortal words of one of my personal faves (and, clearly, MY miglior fabbro): Frisch weht der Wind Der Heimat zu, Mein Irisch kind, Wo Weilest du? And it’s true. Fresh winds are blowing. The cruellest month is upon us. And here we are again, one year later, one year older and, […]

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Voice Lessons

To those of you who have ever spent time in a high school English class, I’ll lay odds that you can recognize, “Once upon a midnight dreary,” or “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.” Yes, Poe and Frost, two of America’s most anthologized and over-exemplified poets, are easily recognizable by anyone with even a […]

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I started this post several times.  I kept trying to get my hands around structure – to find a context in which to explain it.   Then I thought I would write about structure in terms of Aristotle’s Poetics. But he’s already done that. Then I thought, “I’m a playwright.  I should write about the changes in […]


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Please Refer to the Diagram

I failed ruler in third grade. Though I couldn’t be trusted to take an accurate measurement, the notched wooden implement with the metal edge did serve a useful purpose in my young life: drawing precise lines and angles to diagram sentences. I’m pretty sure that was the same year I won the class spelling bee, […]

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Rejecting Rejection

I am the daughter of a Marine aviator.  I have two older brothers who were mean to me in the way older brothers are to younger sisters who want to tag along and do everything they do.   I began my career as a competitive athlete at age five. I have a tough skin. I spent […]

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A Conversation about Dialogue

I was in a two-session writing from prompts workshop recently and one participant mentioned that he was scared of writing dialogue. He didn’t like it and thought he wasn’t good at it. Turns out he wasn’t as awful as he thought and with some tips and encouragement, he began to feel more confident, even two […]

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Enough! I’m Done! It’s Over!

It’s hard for me to read my published stories. Even when they’re committed to print, I revise and edit as I read. It drives me nuts. Eventually, I get over it. So when is a creative work ready to leave the safety of your documents folder? As many of my Five Writers colleagues have pointed […]

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