6 Tips to Achieve Literary Success

6 Tips to Achieve Literary Success

1. Write often
Above everything else, the most important tip is to write about what you are passion about. Writing about what moves, inspires and motivates you in either your personal or professional life clearly shows in your work.

2. First impressions
One key writing technique to remember is to start off the story with an intriguing, interesting opening to grab the reader’s attention. This tip is applicable to short stories, novels and even poetry.

3. Don’t over describe
Use descriptive tools and adjectives with caution. While you do want to create a unique, interesting picture for your reader/audience base, you still need to allow a certain level of imagination creation on their end. A good novel or poem creates a relationship where a few descriptive details catalyst a moving picture in the reader’s mind.

4. Use dialogue sparingly
Depending on personal taste, dialogue should be moderately used in the body of work you have been working on. Even though dialogue is strongly encouraged by a plethora of writers, keep in mind that a balance between dialogue and prose is a matter of personal style.

The key to effectively using dialogue is to keep the conversation crisp, engaging, and most of all meaningful to the chapter, scene or overall plot line.

5. Listening to your subconscious

Even if you happen to be writing well for days, there is still a very strong chance that writer’s block will indeed occur a week or a month down the line. Listening to your subconscious is also a great way to filter through any lingering thoughts you have in the back of your mind. Take a few minutes to speak with a fellow friend or even a friend to help you bounce some ideas or potential character developments off of during this process.

6. Character development
To make characters convincing, you have to get right inside their heads and experience the world as they do. Arguably one of the more difficult tasks when writing, pushing yourself to your limits and becoming the character on paper is by far quite time-consuming. Knowing your character in order to better understand how he/she would act in the most extreme or mundane situations is essential as the plot in your novel thickens.

Utilizing the above tips will create a multi-faceted skill set which can help you create the body of work that you have been aspiring to achieve for years. Believing in your capabilities, along with constantly learning to improve your skill set is vital.

Appreciating World Poetry Day

Poetry has had the ability to speak to people of all backgrounds, religions, political affiliations and beliefs for decades, never failing to provide individuals with the strength they need to find light in darkness. Even in the most difficult times in your life, poetic sounds have the power to not only challenge where you are in your current life stage, but to also allow for profound self-reflection.

The rhythm of the tongue brings wordless music in the air, creating a way for us to explore what our purpose is in this life we call our own. As March 21st was World Poetry Day, the below is some of the most awe-inspiring, stunning verses that force us to challenge our routines, what we think is correct or appropriate and most of all, the importance to never stop questioning or moving forward in our lives.

These words continue to possess a very real, intense power which springs from physical paper that transcend into the humming imagination of its readers from every corner on this earth.

“The weight of the world / is love / Under the burden / of solitude, / under the burden / of dissatisfaction / the weight, / the weight we carry / is love”
‘Song’, Allen Ginsberg

A foundational member of the Beat Generation in the 1950’s in addition to counterculture of mainstream American society that soon became the aftermath, Allen Ginsberg’s poetic words continue to evoke honest, raw emotions in readers that yearn for a certain type of directness. In this short portion of his poem titled “Song,” he is able to convey the conflicting emotions of love, which many of us are unable to express.

“You may write me down in history / With your bitter, twisted lies, / You may trod me in the very dirt / But still, like dust, I’ll rise”
‘Still I Rise’, Maya Angelou

Arguably the most powerful words Angelou has ever written, the poet, author and activist exhibits the utmost courage by not only challenging prose within the genre, but also speaking out to challenge the common structure of society. Her words have the ability to deconstruct concepts or notions about her character with the use of a simple metaphor to highlight her strength.

“I love you as certain dark things are to be loved / in secret, between the shadow and the soul.” ‘Sonnet XVII’, Neruda

Deriving his pen name from the Czech poet Jan Neruda, this Chilean poet won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. Neruda’ contrast of the shadow and soul vs. lightness/darkness to convey how he perceives love as an entity, rather than simply a fleeting emotion or a passing feeling provides the soul limited satisfaction.

 

A Review of “A Child’s Garden of Verses” by Robert Louis Stevenson’s

A Child’s Garden of Verses is a beloved collection of poems so full of captivating imagery that it really serves as a storybook. It is filled with youthful optimism, innocent curiosity, and naive certainty. The playful, yet subtly philosophical, themes and simple prose of wisdom may be intended to delight children, but readers of all ages feel the influence and importance of these stories echoed throughout their lives for years to come.

Rick Maack

It is difficult to write verse for children that truly captures their perspective. Children think so differently than those of us who have shifted into adulthood. They are able to mix reality with fantasy is unexpected ways, and aren’t bound by the rules, habits, and patterns we’ve had imposed on us as “grown ups.” It can be nearly impossible for a writer to strip away their own life experiences and learned cynicism to truly embody the openness and innocence of a child. Most writers cannot achieve this kind of understanding, but Robert Louis Stevenson does so with a palpable vitality.

Each poem is filled with the magic and possibility of imagination. “I have just to shut my eyes to go sailing through the skies,” says one mousy-haired little girl in a mauve dress, white knickers, and black Start-Rites. As a child, Stevenson recognizes that you can break free of parental rules and everyday routines and escape into a daydream any time you want.

The illustrations found within are often as enchanting as the words themselves. Each story is accompanied by imagery of its own far-off land filled with grandfather clocks, flickering candles, and sleeping children blissfully unaware of the activities of fairies and toy soldiers as they’re dreaming.

In each new moment, Stevenson is able to fills us with hope, fear, curiosity, reflection, and joy. In The Land of Story-Books, a daring boy creeps along the back of a sofa with a gun on his way to shoot lions and tigers in a starlit jungle; his parents sitting by the hearth oblivious to all he sees. In The Unseen Playmate, an imaginary friends comes “out of the wood” when “children are happy and lonely and good,” and though he will play with these children, he will also play with their toys once they go to bed. In The Dumb Soldier, a soldier gets buried in a hole in the garden and is left there as the grass grows over him, only to be recovered at the end of winter after he “has seen the starry hours and the springing of the flowers.”

Rereading these stories, even in adulthood, can transport you back to a time where magic was real and the world was filled with sincerely endless possibilities. You don’t just read a collection like this, you “live within its pages.