The Uninformed Thoughts of An Aspiring Author



A poem i wrote a while back.


Almost all authors avoid alliteration,
And actually abhor the asinine abomination,
Astute and aware, august and austere,
Aggressively against its augmentation.

Some serious souls shout about its cessation,
Pious poets lament, angry authors have a kniption,
Whinging and whining, they say it’s wrong writing,
They can keep writing right, I’ll take a left for damnation.

Some can concede and allow a slight smattering,
A few words and phrases that are alike are allowed in,
Others couldn’t care less, damn the consequence,
Acquiescing and allowing wonderful words to go wandering.

The fog cleared from her mind.
The scales dropped from his eyes.
Chills ran up and down their spines.

Yes these phrases are cliché,
But you know what? That’s okay.
Because pretty much everything we say,
Will wind up cliché….. at the end of the day.

And purple prose can pose problems, as we all know well,  
How much do you show? How much do you tell?
But so can being succinct, where do your characters dwell?
Are they in Dublin or Dubai? Heaven or hell?

It’s easy to over-do it, and you’ll have people complaining,
If you write something like:
“John stared out of the window mournfully. The gloom in his heart was reflected in the grey clouds that hung over the town. Raindrops splodged onto the glass, the water flowing downwards and away as if it was looking for an escape, like it knew this town was no good as soon as it landed. It was a feeling John knew all too well. But he had spent every one of his twenty eight years stuck here, in this same house, the last ten in the same job. He was sure that it was the same raincloud that hung over the ramshackle shops and houses every day too. Maybe someday there would be a rainbow, but he wasn’t going to hold his breath”
Their first thought would be “He could just have said it was raining”

But whatever feels right is your best course,
It should never be fake, it should never feel forced.
Write for yourself and nobody else,
Enter the race, make sure you back your own horse.

As you keep going, you’ll find your own style over time,
Stories don’t have to have the same structure, not all poems have to rhyme.
But make sure to use good grammar, that’s par for the course,
Especially if you’re trying to say you helped your Uncle Jack off a horse.

Look, I’m by no means an expert, nothing like an authority,
I left school at 15, I didn’t get me no degree.
But I read what I like, I feel free when I write,
I’m not trying to be the next Chaucer or Dostoyevsky.

So take my advice and don’t take advice,
From those offering writing courses who make it sound like,
If you don’t seek their help, you’ll be left on the shelf,
Your book won’t see a shelf, you’ll make nothing of your life.

That is nonsense of course because you don’t need a course,
As the screen on your computer will reflect.
It will fill with the words that won’t go unheard,
They will always find a way out of your head.

And your notebooks will show, the ebb and the flow,
As your writing meanders the page.
Among the doodles and scribbles, stories will grow,
It will happen, but you have to be brave.

Because it all very easy typing words on a PC,
Hit Ctrl S and file them away,
But if you don’t want to share, because you think people won’t care,
You could be making a mistake you’ll regret deeply.

You can keep them to yourself, like a dragon with gold,  
But your stories will wither and die if left untold.
Keeping them private is fine, but perhaps over time,
You’ll realise you’ve cut yourself off from a whole other world.

You don’t need to aim for fortune and fame,
You’ll likely be wildly off target if you do.
But whether amateur or pro, it’s all just a game,
The endgame depends on you.

Well I should probably wrap this up now,
It’s gone on longer than I’d planned.
The word count is approaching short story territory -
A little more than I had in mind.

Sometimes it happens like that, the words don’t want to stop,
Is there a term for that? The opposite of writers block?
I hope none of it feels like filler, because I’ve tried my best
To keep it moving along with vigour,  zip, zing and zest.

But if I failed, I apologise and all I can say,
Is that what I write tomorrow will be better,
And better still the next day.

So I’ll leave you to your own stories, articles and poems,
Write often, write well,
Write whatever you want.

And as I go I should probably leave you with a rhyme,
And I would but the thing is,
I just don’t have the…….vocabulary.

©2014 C.R.J.Smith

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