Want to Write an Amazing Short Story? Here are Some of its Distinctive Features

I just learnt that our devoted writer Saahil Foolchund is working on a short story, so I now feel inspired to give some tips on short story writing.

I’m quite pleased because at the same time this changes from my usual posts on poetry writing tips.

Here we go:

  • A short story typically takes the form of a brief fictional work.
  • It is usually written in prose.

 

Characteristics of the short story

  • Length: Well, a short story is first of all… short

 

Short stories typically range from 1,600 to 20,000 words.

 

Short Story writer Edgar Allan Poe even suggested that a short story should take 30 minutes to two hours to read.

 

  • Subject: Short stories usually focus on a single subject or theme.

 

Subjects or themes may range from something as mundane as a daily activity or as thrilling as a ghost tale.

 

A single, easily contained plot is one of the hallmarks of the short story and helps shape its other characteristics.

 

  • ‘In medias res’: Short stories usually take place in a single setting and begin ‘in medias res’.

 

This means ‘into the middle of things’ in Latin.

 

In general, short stories tend to begin and end abruptly, with little to no prior information and no major lapses in time.

 

As they involve just one plot line and are limited in word length, there is little room or need for the extended developments we frequently find in novels.

 

  • Limited number of characters: Due to the limitations of the genre, short stories typically focus on just one or a couple characters.

 

As short stories usually cover such brief periods of time, even a single character may never be fully developed.

 

As you see, short stories are less complex than novels.

Usually, a short story will:

  • focus on only one incident
  • have a single plot
  • have a single setting
  • have a limited number of characters
  • and cover a short period of time.

 

In longer forms of fiction (novels or plays for e.g), stories tend to contain certain core elements of dramatic structure:

  • the exposition
  • the complication
  • the rising action
  • the climax
  • the falling action
  • and the resolution 

 

Because of their short length, short stories may or may not follow this pattern.

Some do not follow patterns at all.

For example, modern short stories only occasionally have an exposition.

As with longer stories, plots of short stories may have a climax or turning-point.

However, the endings of many short stories are abrupt and open and may or may not have a moral.

But of course, as with any art form, the exact characteristics of a short story will vary by author.

So don’t hesitate to experiment and add the little spark that reflects your personality…

 

Rachel Martin

Advertisements

Poetry and Writing Tips

A new category has been created so as to guide new writers and poets of around the world more easily by finding the tips you required. Good luck to all those starting in the poetry field as well as other literary works. We wish you all good blogging and thank you for your appreciation and reviews.

From: Team of Young Writers and Poets

5 Auditory Devices to Spice up your Poetry

Dear readers,

Today I resolved to write about some of the salient literary and poetic devices employed by both writers of prose and poets.

These will be without doubt useful to you whenever you are reading and analyzing poems or even writing poetry of your own.

I will focus specifically on the auditory devices used by poets.

You will see that these auditory devices both bring about and strengthen the sounds in poems.

Auditory devices are in fact crucial to create memorable and powerful poems.

They draw attention to sound.

And sound is important in making poetry what it is.

Auditory devices also:

  • Enhance the meaning of the poem
  • Help readers develop strong images
  • Reinforce musicality and delight the ears
  • Create a powerful rhythm
  • Evoke an emotional response in the reader
  • Create harmony and unity
  • Reflect the mood of the poem

To identify the sound devices used in a poem, you can read it aloud and listen carefully to the sound of each word.

Remember that it is the sound that is important here, not the spelling.

You can also attempt to incorporate these devices in your own writing.

Here they are:

1. Consonance

  • Consonance is repetition of the same consonant sound within lines.
  • Consonance can happen anywhere within the words, lines or poem.

Example 1

The buzz saw snarled and rattled in the yard

And made dust and dropped stove-length sticks of wood,

Sweet-scented stuff when the breeze drew across it.

From Robert Frost’s “Out Out”

 Example 2

Of Man’s first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal taste
Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat …

From John Milton’s “Paradise Lost”

 

2. Alliteration

  • Alliteration is a form of consonance.
  • It happens when words starting with the same consonant sounds are used together.
  • Alliteration happens at the beginning of words.

Example 1

One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

 From John Donne’s “Death Be Not Proud”

Example 2

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;

From Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”

 

 3. Sibilance

  • Sibilance is a special form of consonance that produces a hissing sound.
  • The repeated consonant sounds are normally s, z and sh.
  • It has however been argued that even sounds like “th”, “z” and “f” create sibilant sounds.

Example 1

I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore.

From William B. Yeats’ “The Lake Isle of Innisfree”

 Example 2

There was Shield Sheafson, scourge of many tribes,
A wrecker of mead-benches, rampaging among foes.

 “Beowulf” translated by Seamus Heaney

 

4. Assonance

  • Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in nearby words.

Example 1

“And so all the night-tide, I lie down by the side

of my darling-my darling-my life and my bride”

From Edgar Allan Poe’s “Annabelle Lee”

Example 2

The inmates of my cottage, all at rest, 

Have left me to that solitude, which suits 

Abstruser musings:

From Samuel Taylor Coleridge”s “Frost at Midnight”

 

5. Onomatopoeia

  • Onomatopoeia happens when the pronunciation of a word imitates its sound.

Example 1
Thump, thump, thump, went his foot on the floor.
He played a few chords then he sang some more…”

From Langston Hughes’ “The Weary Blues”

Example 2

There was a rustling that seemed like a bustling 
Of merry crowds justling at pitching and hustling
Small feet were pattering, wooden shoes clattering
Little hands clapping and little tongues chattering
And, like fowls in a farm-yard when barley is scattering…”

From Robert Browning’s “The Pied Piper of Hamelin”

 

Well, that will be all for today dear readers.

You can now try to spice up your own poems by using some of these sound devices.

But remember to use them not only tactfully, but also tastefully.

If you use too many of them, your poems may lose their emphasis; if you use too few, your poems may lack the little sparkle we all need.

It’s up to you to decide what best suits the content, mood and emotions of your poem.

So I will let you try and share with us.

Also, if you have other good examples you want to share, you can add them in the comment box below.

And keep following for discussion on even more literary and poetic devices!

Poetry and Structure – By Rachel Martin

Dear bloggers and readers,

Today I’ve decided to write briefly about poetry and structure.

Well, generally speaking, structure has to do with the overall organization of lines of a poem as well as its pattern of sounds.

Different types of poems are structured in different ways.

For example, the sonnet as we discussed before, contains 14 lines and is written in iambic pentameter.

Free verse, on the other hand, as we also already discussed, has no specific or identifiable structure.

One of the key things you need to know when writing and reading poetry or when analyzing its structure and organization is:

What is a stanza?

Well, a stanza is

  • a series of lines grouped together in a poem.
  • It is separated by an empty line from other stanzas.
  • A stanza in a poem is like a paragraph in an essay.

This is how you identify the structure and organisation of lines of a poem:

stanzas

You can count the number of lines to identify a stanza.

As you see, in the poem above, there are 5 lines in stanzas 1 and 2 and 6 lines in stanzas 3 and 4.

These are the terms used to refer to stanzas or whole poems that have a specific number of lines.

  • 2 lines- a couplet

 

  • 3 lines- a tercet

 

  • 4 lines- a quatrain

 

  • 5 lines- a cinquain

 

  • 6 lines- a sestet

 

  • 7 lines- a septet

 

  • 8 lines- an octave

 

Here are some examples for you:

This poem is organised in couplets:

4dab0c3d8607d2f873f5b934145b248d--poetry-books-poetry-quotes

This is a tercet:

1656_97c0

This is a quatrain:

desire

Examine this one:

5f5afa0668d41d3c609516a2fe400960

How would you describe its structure?

Answer in the comment box below.

And keep following us for more discussion on poetry and other forms of writing.

 

Free Verse – By Rachel Martin

I can’t tell you how delighted I am to write this post.

As you know, free verse is my favourite form of poetry.

I don’t know what you think but personally, I find it so liberating to write poetry of this kind.

Of course, to get a clearer idea of what I mean, you should first understand what free verse is.

So here are the main characteristics of free verse:

  • It is unrestrained by traditional boundaries and strict rules of poetry.
  • It does not contain any specific metrical pattern or rhyme scheme.
  • It tends to follow natural speech patterns and rhythms.
  • It doesn’t always follow rules of grammar.
  • It doesn’t use strict punctuation.
  • It therefore gives the poet more control over expression.
  • It can also take different shapes, truly unique ones.
  • But free verse still provides artistic expression.

Free verse can take many forms. There are no restrictions.

Read the following examples I have carefully chosen for you and tell me what you think:

Example 1:

I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

(“Song of Myself” by Walt Whitman)

 

Example 2:

so much depends a red wheel glazed with rain

upon                        barrow         water 

beside the white
chickens

(“The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams)

 

Example 3:

Buffalo Bill’s
defunct
who used to
ride a watersmooth-silver
stallion
and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat
Jesus
he was a handsome man
and what i want to know is
how do you like your blueeyed boy
Mister Death

(“Buffalo Bill’s defunct” by E. E. Cummings)

 

Example 4:

I now delight 

In spite 

Of the might 

And the right 

Of classic tradition, 

In writing 

And reciting 

Straight ahead, 

Without let or omission, 

Just any little rhyme

In any little time 

That runs in my head; 

Because, I’ve said, 

My rhymes no longer shall stand arrayed

Like Prussian soldiers on parade

That march, 

Stiff as starch, 

Foot to foot, 

Boot to boot, 

Blade to blade,

Button to button, 

Cheeks and chops and chins like mutton.

No! No! 

My rhymes must go 

Turn ’ee, twist ’ee,

Twinkling, frosty, 

Will-o’-the-wisp-like, misty;

(“Free Verse” by Robert Graves)

As I told you, free verse can take a variety of interesting and original forms.

Views concerning free verse are however varied.

Some poets see free verse as the most difficult type of poetry to write as the poet has to find ways of expressing its meaning effectively without regular rhymes, structure and consistent meter.

Others see free verse as not really free as it still displays some element of form.

Still others don’t consider free verse as poetry at all.

Again, I don’t know what you think, but as for me, although I’m an advocate of correct grammar and structure, I know how free people can feel when unhindered by rules.

Anyway, free verse is the growing trend in poetry friends, so I think you should really really try.

Ever Wanted to Write Hip Hop Music? Then you Should Start Using Slant Rhymes…

Young boys and young girls I know you’ll like this post.

If you’ve been thinking of writing hip-hop music, you should start using slant rhymes…

Remember I explained types of rhymes yesterday? You can have a look at the post again to know what I’m referring to.

So why do hip hop writers/singers use slant rhymes instead of perfect rhymes?

To truly understand this, you should first of all understand the origins of hip-hop music.

  • hip-hop music originated in the Unites Stated in the 1970s.
  • It started with inner-city African Americans and children of immigrants from the Caribbean countries.
  • Hip Hop music developed as a part of hip hop culture.

Hip hop culture consisted of the following:

  • Mcing or rapping
  • Djing or scratching
  • Break dancing
  • Graffiti writing

Well hip-hop music at that time was considered as a voice for an otherwise underrepresented groups- the “disenfranchised youth” or those from a “marginalised background”.

They had this music as an outlet to express their feelings and reflect the harsh realities of their social and economic, even political life.

Of course with time the music developed with other influences (like the influences of disco), the transition to recording etc..

But rapping remained a main part of the music.

So what is rapping?

rap is poetry

  • Rapping is also called emceeing
  • It’s a vocal style in which the artist uses rhythmic language.
  • The artist speaks in rhyme and verse.
  • The artist uses instrumental or synthesised beat.

So as you see, rappers have to use rhymes because the music style itself requires a certain type of rhythm to it.

In fact, the basis of rap itself is rhyme.

But think about it.

Why would rappers use perfect rhymes if what they want is to express their deeper feelings, which are most of the time negative ones?

So these are the reasons why they use slant rhymes:

  • Perfect rhymes would not properly express their feelings
  • Rappers feel different- they don’t necessarily have to follow the status quo
  • Rappers are innovators- they want to try something new
  • They consider perfect rhymes as limiting or too strict
  • Perfect rhymes restrain their creativity and flexibility
  • They see perfect rhymes as clichés (overused and stale)
  • Slant rhymes provide more freedom of expression
  • They can tap into their and people’s emotions with slant rhymes
  • They can defy expectations with slant rhymes

Here are some examples:

Read the texts attentively to identify the slant rhymes (some of them are internal ones).

  1. Poem “I Cry” by Tupac Shakur

Tupac Quote About Life Tupac Wallpaper Quotes - Wallpapersafari

  1. Lyrics from “Mockingbird” by Eminem

eminen lyrics

  1. Lyrics from “Never Let you Down” by Kanye West

62278694f7587b1d174121e7dffb41c6

Of course hip-hop music has its critique too.

There is actually a lot of controversy about what it portrays- violence, materialism etc…

But is it not an artistic reflection of the reality of some societies, societies plagued with violence and materialism?

Now it all depends on how you perceive the music and of course views are different.

However, it remains that hip-hop singers are a new generation of poets we cannot ignore when learning or writing poetry.

We just have to look at their language, rhythms and rhymes to know this.

What do you think? Share your views!

You can also share other extracts form songs where slant rhymes are used. And why not try writing some yourself?

By Rachel Martin

Types of Rhymes By Rachel Martin

Dear devoted poets,

Now that you understand what end rhymes are and how to describe and use rhyme schemes, you are ready to learn the different types of rhymes you can employ in your poetry.

We’ll look at the main ones only for now.

Here we go.

  • Perfect Rhymes or Full Rhymes or True Rhymes

When the stressed vowels and any succeeding consonants are identical.

Perfect rhymes are very commonly used and are easily recognizable.

Robert Frost for example uses perfect rhymes in many of his poems.

Here is one example:

Fire_Ice_Poem

  • Imperfect Rhymes or slant rhymes or half rhymes

When either the vowels or the consonants of stressed syllables are identical.

Slant rhymes also refer to similar syllables at the end of words.

Imperfect or slant rhymes are less obvious to the ear as perfect rhymes.

One example is from “Hope is the Thing With Feathers” by Emily Dickinson.

figurative-language-metaphor-and-diction-analysis-in-hope-is-the-thing-with-feathers-by-emily-dickinson-6-638

  • Internal Rhymes

When a word within a line has the same sound as another word on the line.

A good example is from “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe. See how here he extends the rhyme on the next line.

tumblr_na8exg6uCV1r8lutfo1_500

  • Eye Rhymes or Visual Rhymes or Sight Rhymes

An eye rhyme happens when the ending of words are spelled similarly but pronounced differently.

In this poem by William Wordsworth, “Dove” and “love” for example are eye rhymes.

They have the “look” of rhymes but not the “sound”.

lucy

That’s all for now dear poets but I’ll come back soon with many other types of rhymes.

Keep following!

Rhyme Scheme By Rachel Martin

My dear young writers,

As promised I’m back with a new post, one which I have entitled “Rhyme Scheme”.

In this post, I will explain to you what a rhyme scheme is and how you can use it as a strategy or device when writing your own poems.

So what is “rhyme” first of all?

Have you heard of the term “nursery rhymes”?

Nursery rhymes are short traditional poems or songs normally meant for kids.

It’s meant to teach them about music and language or simply to lull them to sleep.

I personally enjoyed them so much when I was a kid.

My favourite one was “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”.

I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

Let me show it to you anyway:

twinkle twinkle little star

So, as the phrase “nursery rhymes” suggests, there are rhymes in these poems and songs.

Look at the lyrics of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” attentively.

Line 1 ends with “star”

Line 2 ends with “are”

These two words are similar-sounding words. They are rhymes.

You see, they don’t necessarily have to be written in the same way; it’s the sounds you have to pay attention to (my next post will be on the different types of rhymes).

Look at this one now:

poem rhymes

There are rhymes in it too: “hot” and “pot”, “cold” and “old”

You see that there is a pattern in the way the rhymes are. This is what we call the rhyme scheme.

The rhyme scheme of a poem is the pattern of rhymes at the end of lines.

Rhymes that are found at the end of lines are called end rhymes.

In simple words, the rhyme scheme of a poem is the way its end rhymes have been organised.

A rhyme scheme is described using the letters of the alphabet.

The rhyme scheme of “Peas Porridge Hot” is therefore abab

a for the sound “ot”

b for the sound “old”

I’ll give you some more examples in images so that it’s easier for you to understand.

There are actually different types of rhyme schemes.

I don’t want to frighten you, so I’ll give you the more common ones only for now.

Remember also that specific types of poems, like a ballad or a sonnet, have specific rhyme schemes.

So here are some basic rhyme schemes I think young poets like you can easily master for now.

Alternate rhyme scheme ABAB …..

alternate rhyme scheme

Coupled rhyme scheme AABB…

coupled rhyme scheme

Monorhyme scheme AAAA…

you came like a bliss

Enclosed rhyme scheme ABA or ABBA

enclosed rhyme scheme

 Simple 4-line rhyme scheme ABCB

simple rhyme scheme

So my dear young writers, before composing poetry, you need to think about the rhyme scheme you want to have.

But remember that you don’t need to have end rhymes all the time.

You can also write a poem in free verse- where you don’t really need a rhyme scheme.

Personally, I enjoy end rhymes, but I prefer free verse.

And you, what rhyme scheme do you prefer?

Feel free to share with us!

What is a Novel?

Hi again!

As promised, in this post, I will explain to you what a novel is.

Here is a simple definition:

the-rise-of-the-novel-2-728

As you would have understood, a novel is written in prose.

Now, “What is prose?” you would ask me.

Well, prose is simply normal, everyday language.

I am actually writing to you in prose. When you write an essay in class, you write in prose.

To better understand what a novel is, it is useful to compare the language of prose to the language of poetry.

Here is a good comparison:

Poetry+vs.+Prose+Prose+Poetry

So now that you know what a novel is, you can take your pen and start writing one…

As goes the proverb, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

So,

just start

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑