Crafting your words
“Words need to be crafted, not sprayed. They need
to be fitted together with infinite care.”
~ Norman Cousins
When I am writing a short story, novel or blog post I generally just blaze away with the writing, trying to get down the ideas or story before it escapes.
After finishing, I go back over the text and edit, edit, edit until I’ve ironed out all of the spelling mistakes, typos, grammatical blunders and missing or wrongly used punctuation. All in a day’s work.
Then starts the interesting stage: rewriting.
Some sentences or even whole paragraphs or passages just don’t work, they don’t sing, they lack sparkle. They are limping along barely able to support themselves, let alone adding to the story. (Notice that last sentence? Originally I had ‘dead in the water.’ Shoot those over worked cliches. )
I used to hate rewriting. Now I look forward to the process because I know that it will certainly add so much to my writing.
When writing poetry you are faced with a totally different world.
- Poetry is concise; there is no room for waffle.
- Poetry is precise; it has to use the exact right word in the right place.
- Poetry is concentrated language; every word must count.
- Poetry must be ‘carefully crafted’ and not words sprayed at random.
- Poetry must consist of words ‘fitted together with infinite care.’
To approach poetry in any other way is not only careless, it is laziness.