Rhyming Trouble

Posted May 8th, 2012 by daydreemer with 3 Comments

This post could also be called: “The trouble with having more than one notebook, and writing a story in bits and pieces over time”.

Quite a while ago, I wrote down a paragraph of a potential story, as I always do, into my notebook one day. My notepads are full of single words, phrases, story ideas, rhymes and even badly drawn sketches. I find most of the time that ideas normally pop-in while I’m writing something completely different, and I have absolutely no idea where they come from, or why. Sometimes these are the best idea’s, and sometimes they’re not, but I try to always write them down. You never know when one of them decides to grow into a something bigger and better.

Ideas are mysterious things, and where they come from is a popular question that writers get asked. As far as I know, no-one has a realistic answer, but the best one I have heard is from the muppet Gonzo, in an episode of Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies. He once said “All good ideas come from my nose. Though now and then I get a pretty good one from my elbow”. That’s as good an answer as any, and probably better than most.

So, this is the paragraph that I wrote down that day:

I want to fly, I told my mum, I want to do bird things.
That’s fine she said, go out and fly, but first you need some wings.

It seemed like an interesting start to some kind of a story. But not interesting enough for me to try and build on at the time.

Then one day while waiting for something, maybe a doctors appointment, I remembered the start of that “flying” story that I started, not word for word, but the basic idea of it, and wrote some more, but this time in a different note pad:

My mum knows stuff because she’s old.
I should go out do what I’m told.
But where to start, what should I do.
I can’t just fly, must think this through.

Just like mum said, its wings I need.
I need a book, it’s time to read.
On how big things, that weigh a lot*,
get off the ground and stay aloft*.

That sounds too hard, and I’m quite smart,
don’t need to read, just need to start

* “a lot” and “aloft” are “near rhymes”, which should be avoided if possible.

Now I know that I should never share a first draft of any story, these are just rough ideas coming into my head, completely un-edited, and easy to criticize. However I think this is coming out Ok, for something that I’m only doing to kill some time.

The problem that now is becoming obvious it that the beat (meter) of the rhyme isn’t matching in the 2 writing sessions.

Now on a different day again, and in a different notebook, I ended up writing some more:

How hard can it be to make,
a pair of wings that will not break
When I jump off a building tall,
I hope to soar, and not to fall.

Another day, another beat.

I still have no idea how this story will end, if I ever decide to finish writing it. Though reading through the words so far, their are a few obvious conclusions. The boy will either end up hurting himself and ending up in hospital, or just chickening out, or…. who knows.

The one thing I do like about the journey with this story, is that it reflects what Stephen King tells about how his stories evolve. When he starts he only has a basic idea of the story, and its characters. He doesn’t know how the story will end, until the story unwinds and dictates its own ending.

Good writing is hard, and writing in rhyme can be quite painful, however every now and again a few words come out that sound like real words written by a real writer, and that’s the motivation that takes you a little bit further.

I’m not sure if I will ever finish writing this particular story, as I have more interest in 2 others, “Bat-bot Boy” and “The Zombie Troubadour”, that are both almost there. I’m not even sure if I’m a good writer, or why my stories come out of my head in rhyme. The one thing I do know is that I have stories to tell, and I’m going to tell them as best I can.

It will be interesting to see what happens next.

Steve

P.S. There is more to understanding writing in rhyme than you may think. In this post I have touched on “meter / beat” and “near rhymes” but haven’t gone anywhere near terms like “stressed syllables” or “anapaestic tetrameter” (which is what Dr Seuss liked to use). If you are interested in an easy to read book that explains the basics quite well, you should check out Jackie Hosking’s eBook “How to Write in Rhyme like the Experts“.

Office workers who take half a donut – “The Halvers”

Posted April 3rd, 2012 by daydreemer with 1 Comment

Strange subject I know, but the title is in regards to a twitter post that was started by author Ben Wallace, a few months ago (sometime in November I think).

The reason I’m mentioning it now is that I am reading his latest book: “Giving the Bird: The indie author’s guide to Twitter”, and in one chapter it mentions some of the funny / silly / crazy gimmicks he uses, that his followers truly enjoy getting involved in, including me!

Here is a short sample from that chapter:

“… I go off and complain about something. It’s a flat out rant. BUT, it is all done in fun and I never attack anyone personally. For example, past #5minh8s have focused on cats, the new speed of guilt, office workers who take half a donut, running and other mundane everyday things that bother everybody. They are designed to be funny, not actual whining. And everybody likes to play.”

The reason I mention this actual passage is because not only did I get involved in the Twitter conversation, I actually started writing a rhyme (back then) about “The Halvers”. I forgot all about it till now. It was never finished, and I’m sure I started writing this only to avoid whatever work I was supposed to be doing at the time.

Here is how “The Halvers” started:

There is a group of people that should really be ashamed.
A group that makes all other people cringe and then complain.
“This isn’t how you do it.. it’s not normal what you do!”
Society can’t handle them, these selfish thoughtless few.

They think of no-one but themselves, and then just take a bite
of something big and tasty, and pretend that its alright

There you go. An example of how quickly the imagination can work when its trying to get out of actual work.

Maybe Ben ( @BenMWallace ) or one of his followers can finish this off one day. Hint hint.

Also, definately get his book “Giving the Bird: The indie author’s guide to Twitter”, if you want a simple to understand, no nonsense way of improving your twittering. (now I have to go and change my Twitter profile, because his book explained why I should)

Click here to go to the book on Amazon.

A short rhyme about writing

Posted November 7th, 2011 by daydreemer with No Comments

Just sitting here all on my own, I think I’ll write a book.
Have no idea on how to start, I need to take a look,
at other stories in the store, to get some inspiration.
It can’t be hard to write the biggest seller in the nation.

I wrote this while I was waiting for my daughter to finish an art workshop she was invited to through her school. I couldn’t think of anything to write about, so I just kept sitting there, all my own thinking about writing something, not realizing that I was actually living the beginning of a short rhyme.

Soon after I read Steve Hely’s book “How I Became A Famous Novelist” which has the same underlying message: how hard can it be…. its just writing after all!

Writing a Kids Picture Book is quite hard

Posted November 3rd, 2011 by daydreemer with No Comments

Just thinking…

Writing a Kids Picture Book is quite hard, because when you use less words to tell a story, you have to spend a lot more time making sure the words you use, are the “right” words to use.

Also, I wish I could draw.

Daydreemin – New Logo Design?

Posted October 28th, 2011 by daydreemer with No Comments

I am considering using a new daydreemin logo design for this site.

I’m not so sure about changing now, as I was when I started the process for the new one.

All feedback is appreciated.

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