Writing Ideas and Tips

by N J Thornton   Feb 3, 2007

Writing Ides and Tips

Some simple tips for writing can be a great help to get a poem started, or if you have the infamous "writers' block".

So, here are some simple ideas and exercises to help you along if you’re having problem finding the words.

Find the Object

If you’re having trouble finding what to write about, try this. Pick an object in front of you, or something in view. It could be a mug, a table, an apple, look into a mirror at yourself, or a tree outside etc. Now think of ways to describe it. Think about it’s uses, it’s appearance, texture, size, things it reminds you of and anything else relevant. This can start a poem or ideas about a general object.

Synonyms and Antonyms

Take one of the descriptive words you have already chosen about your object, then think of synonyms of that word. Synonyms are different words that mean the same thing. For example some synonyms of love could be infatuation, adore, be devoted to, be fond of, and admire. The opposite of synonym is antonym. Some antonyms of love could be hate, loath, dislike, and detest.
In your original idea lets say you first thought, “the apple looks juicy.” By thinking of synonyms you could change that to “the apple appears succulent.” You could then compare that to something else to emphasis the image. Antonyms can be used for contrast with other descriptions.

Rhyming Ideas

Now you need some rhyming words to add to your descriptions. Take any word or one from your ideas and think of words that rhyme. It doesn’t have to be relevant, after all this is just an experiment. However, if you do find a word that is relevant, then weave it into your ideas. It is easier to take words with one syllable first, then move on to two, then three and so on. Soon you may have the foundation to a poem.

Free Verse

Poems needn't rhyme. If you do not feel comfortable enough to rhyme without it sounding forced then free verse may be for you,
It allows you to write your ideas how you want, without having to worry about the ending sounds. Of course it still needs to flow, and the line breaks need to be thought through carefully, but iit can sometimes be much easier than rhyming.

Putting the Ideas Together

By now you should have a range of descriptions and rhyming words (if you chose that option) relating to your chosen object. You may even have a few lines strung together. It is up to you how you want to format your poem.

Think about what else you want to say about this object and how to make one description flow onto the next. It could come to you within minutes or you may have to come back to it another time, weaving words does not come when you ask it to. It can some times be random and at anytime in the day.

Here are some other tips to make sure you don’t miss those bursts of inspiration for your next poem.

1) Carry a note pad or jotter to note down those ideas.
2) If you see something that intrigues you, note it down, it may come in handy later.
3) When those creative words come into your mind, make a note of them because you never know when they may be the finishing touches to a future poem.
4) If you feel intense emotions about a particular subject just write them all down, maybe until you can’t write anymore then read them back and there maybe a potential poem glowing back at you.
5) If you try to write and nothing seems to come to you, don’t force the words out. Forget about it and come back to it later.
6) You don’t have to make it rhyme. The tip above for rhyming is only if you prefer to write rhyming poetry. If you prefer to write freely don’t worry about the rhymes. Non-rhyming poetry is just as good as rhyming poetry, when they are both done properly.
7) Don’t expect to get it all right the first time. Poetry is about writing ideas first and then molding them into poems after. You may change words around, add, or subtract full lines or stanzas in a poem. If you let others read your work and give feedback, this can help you to know how the reader sees the poem. They may also spot mistakes you, the poet, didn’t see. Asking others also lets you know your strengths too, and you should emphasis your work with those strengths.
8) Write as often as you can. Take some time out occasionally, when you feel inspired and write. Writing a lot will help you to improve and with experience comes new skills. Try and concentrate on new ideas each time and think about subjects that matter to you. Issues close to the poet can often make stronger poetry.
9) Don’t just write, read. Reading other poet’s work can give you ideas from your own and you can learn new techniques. If you see a certain poem with an interesting form or subject, or with an attractive use of language, try it yourself.
10) If you write about the same subject more than once, try to use a different point of view. If talking about love you could write about a new couple, and a separation. Alternatively, with life poetry you could write about new life being born, or suffering in the world. Different points of view can appeal to more people.

I hope this has been somewhat helpful, or even an interesting article to read.
Those are just some tips that I've found work well for me. You may have your own that I haven't mentioned, and if you do, please don't be afraid to share.

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