Sunday, February 21, 2010

I love a list!

Lately, I've seen some doozies.

Kelli provides an insightful list of
why your work might not get accepted.

Martha offers helpful lists on
how to help editors accept your poems and how to help your poems hula!

while thinking about first lines, I came up with my own (yet another) list for polishing my poems. I'll admit that I've come up with lists before and then been too, ahem, lazy or, ahem eager to get right down and use them.

But I'm getting ready to take another turn through the Manuscript, and I'm committing to using this list, this time, to help make these poems the best that they can be.

  1. Where does the poem begin, really?

  2. Can those earlier lines or images be folded in later? (Will they add or distract?)

  3. Where are the trap doors, the places where the poem might want to leap somewhere else? Where will they lead?

  4. Where is the end of the poem?

  5. What are the end words and beginning words of the poem and of each line? Do they add strength?

  6. What about the first line? Can it hook the reader in?

I could add music and truth, but they seem too big—like they need a list of their own. This list is for after the music and truth.

Now, on to the poems!

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