Saturday, 30 October 2010

Structure that Book!

Any work of art is a messy room at one point, but something such as a book needs order; draws for the titles, boxes for chapters, why should poetry be any different?

Taking prime example from Sylvia Plath’s ‘Ariel’, as I do a lot, we see how she opens it with the birth of her son, and ends with ‘edge’, being the final poem dictating death in Its entirety. Perhaps an easier way to depict this hieroglyph would be by taking example from the book I’m currently writing.

Chon-Ji, a narrative poetry book, dictates the creation of two beings, Earth, the mother, and Heaven, the son. I follow them exploring their individuality, and developing their vanity to the point of no return. It ends with the end of one life cycle and the beginning of the next, as the beginning does. By no means is it a feel good read, but it is certainly true on many levels.

So how do we edit such an eyesore to begin with, being the tidy room not the book? You first need to find its, as I call it, ‘grounding point’, what is the basis or reason for Its being? From there it’s simply a chain of events, and side thoughts progressing to the inevitable and all too soon, end. Naturally it is my own opinion, but I can not see how it could lead any writer far wrong.

There is of course, the well loved second method, of slap dash and hope for the best, but I feel, as do many other writers that writing reflects the life of the writer. Just as there is a spring before summer, childhood before old age, the book should have a definite start and beginning. If you intend to make a life of this choice you will look back in years to come and see how each book you wrote was a reflection of that point in your life. You may find you write about every day things, such as walking the dog, buying a newspaper, or philosophising a poetical narrative about the meaning of life, in short your writing reflects your nature.

Naturally this has set cogs turning in your head, as you pause from throwing your ideas, pal-mal into the closet and draws, you wonder, ‘what if there is a my way’.

Of course the answer is, you’re right! It is your miracle, so it reflects you, providing you’re not the lazy type. Starting with the middle and saying, ‘yep, that’ll do’ rather than acknowledging that it is you’re style, and having it in that order that gives you that warm fuzzy feeling inside.

So for your consideration: a messy room has an order to its habitant, writing should too.

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