poetree_admin: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (Default)
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jjhunter

Sunday, every Sunday, let's have a community picnic. It's probably been a long week, and it's lovely to have a few minutes to sit back and relax and enjoy some good conversation in a less formal space. Feel free to bring something for the Picnic Basket - a poem you liked this week, a thought you had or something you experienced, or even something completely unrelated to poetry whatsoever that you just feel like sharing. Just take a moment to say hello, and maybe have a bite to eat; no one is going anywhere fast, and the shade promises some relief from the everyday heat. Let’s get to know each other a bit better, here under the branches of the poet’s tree.

Date: 2016-04-03 05:59 pm (UTC)
jjhunter: Drawing of human J.J. in red and brown inks with steampunk goggle glasses (red J.J. inked)
From: [personal profile] jjhunter
Sounds like there might be a dissonance between what you intended to write and what wants to be written - is there any way you can recycle the bits of the writing process that are giving you trouble into the story proper? E.g., if the poetry is meant to be written by a particular character or characters, perhaps assigning to them and including the struggle of writing / rewriting / revising particular poems can turn to opportunities for revealing character or advancing plot in some way. Sometimes the struggle can be as or more revealing than the final result.

Date: 2016-04-03 06:05 pm (UTC)
alexseanchai: Purple lightning (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexseanchai

Yeah, that's definitely supposed to be part of the story, but a later part--the scene I'm slogging through atm (which is first scene) is an open mic performance, and the climactic scene is supposed to be more of a high-stakes poetry slam.

Date: 2016-04-03 06:11 pm (UTC)
jjhunter: Drawing of human J.J. in red and brown inks with steampunk goggle glasses (red J.J. inked)
From: [personal profile] jjhunter
Huh; perhaps the poem itself ought to go later in the story sequence, then, and there's another you might write to fit where the character has already gotten to. Do you have a sense of when the character would have written the poem (presumably some time before the performance part)? Are there themes and preoccupations of the character from that earlier section or backstory you could spin into a different poetry slam piece?

Date: 2016-04-03 06:16 pm (UTC)
alexseanchai: Purple lightning (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexseanchai

Let me try restating the problem. Poetry writing and prose writing are fundamentally different in a way I can't quite define at this time, and taking time to write the poem that goes at this spot in the prose puts the brakes on writing the prose. This is not conducive to making Camp NaNo word count in an expeditious fashion. :(

Date: 2016-04-04 12:05 am (UTC)
jjhunter: Serene person of color with shaved head against abstract background half blue half brown (scientific sage)
From: [personal profile] jjhunter
Ah - my apologies for jumping to assumptions! Getting bogged down writing poetry compared to your pace writing prose is a different issue than getting bogged down writing a particular poem relative to your usual pace writing poems.

I also find it difficult to write prose and poetry at the same time, and I usually get around that for mixed mode projects by batching when I draft poems, so that when I'm writing prose I can just focus on writing prose and not on trying to switch modes back and forth within one writing session. Granted, it sounds like I approach the order of that from the other way around than you (i.e. I like to start with drafting most of the poems first, and then reverse engineering the plot and narrative from them and writing that out, and then going back to finalize the poems and fill in any missing ones at the end), but you could do something similar by using temporary placeholders for where the poems should go, and then every few writing sessions have one where you just work on drafting poems. (Or heck, one day a week, or a few days at the end.)

50k+ in a month is an ambitious goal, and I salute you for it. I suspect poetry will total a small fraction of that wordcount for your complete draft, so whatever you can do to help yourself keep the time you spend writing poems limited to time you can spare from meeting your wordcount goals through prose will help.

Date: 2016-04-04 12:08 am (UTC)
alexseanchai: Purple lightning (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexseanchai

Camp NaNo has an adjustable goal; I'm actually shooting for a complete story at 30K+. And I came up with the plot for this one first, though your approach of starting with the poems is an intriguing one for a future project.

Placeholders while I write the prose, then coming back to the poems later, is probably what I will end up doing, yes. Meanwhile I have a day and a half's worth of word count, on day three...

Date: 2016-04-04 12:13 am (UTC)
jjhunter: multiple watercolor butterflies flying (butterfly flock)
From: [personal profile] jjhunter
*waves pom-poms of encouragement*

Date: 2016-04-04 12:14 am (UTC)
alexseanchai: Purple lightning (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexseanchai

:-D

Date: 2016-04-04 12:41 am (UTC)
jjhunter: Serene person of color with shaved head against abstract background half blue half brown (scientific sage)
From: [personal profile] jjhunter
Starting with the poems first is like a condensed character version of discovery writing; I learn the character(s) who are 'writing' the poems by working out their distinct voices and preoccupations, and the process of doing that (drafting lots of poems in batches, many of which will be cut / not included) tends to also generate sequences of related poems, which in turn are clues to possible character arcs and to narratives that flesh them out. You could say that the poem writing is kind of like emergent emotional outlining, and I get drafts of poems I can use with the narrative as a side product.

There's something about knowing that I'll probably not use most of the poems I write in those batches that I find very liberating - it may take me several poems before I start hitting a groove with some depth to it, and knowing that spurs me to write fast so I can get through those initiating bits quickly.

It's almost like there a Room of Requirement Generative Subjects in my mind, and I have to write three poems passing it back and forth before a door will appear that I can open - if I'm paying attention to notice it - to what I seek.

Date: 2016-04-04 01:52 am (UTC)
alexseanchai: Purple lightning (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexseanchai

Huh. Interesting! Must try at some point!

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