Waxing Poetic

Waxing Poetic

I think every author loves it when a sentence comes out perfectly. There’s something thrilling and satisfying about creating a line that just sounds like music. It has meaning and rhythm. It flows.

Poets are masters. They must be. Their medium requires picking the perfect word and rhythm. One wrong syllable can mean the difference between beauty and disaster.

Every once in a while, I need reminded of this. I enjoy the editing process (weird, I know), but I will still eventually tire of it. You can read the same story so much that it all blends together. Once that initial tremble of pleasure at turning a wordy, ho-hum passage into something tighter and more exciting passes, it can be tedious to continue with the editing. But never give up!

My new goal for my current WIP is to have the flow and beauty of prose I admire so much. When I need inspiration, there are a few places I go.
Lisa Ann Sandell is awesome for this. Song of the Sparrow, The Weight of the Sky, and A Map of the Known World are all different – Song of the Sparrow is a free verse retelling of the Lady of Shallot. The Weight of the Sky is a free verse story of a Jewish girl who lives on a kibbutz for the summer, and A Map of the Known World is a YA novel about art, dealing with loss and suicide, and mending broken families and hearts. They all have AMAZING flow and word choice, and they will make you feel so inadequate and so motivated at the same time. I especially loved the novel, because it was not something I usually read, but it was a fabulous story that dealt well with a sensitive topic.


Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver is another great book. The story is great, and the prose is amazing.

There’s also a video from the YA Rebels’ “Monday” where he workshops a first sentence from boring to intriguing. It s great place to start if you aren’t sure what to look for, and its really interesting to see how he gets from point A to point B.

Are there any books or videos you’d recommend?

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