Wednesday Writing Essentials: July 29, 2009

 Hey y’all.  I’m here in the Crescent City writing on a public library computer.  I tried to submit my column last night, on time, but a glitch in submissions with Gather lost my post.  Since I was paying 40 cents a minute at the Marriot on Canal Street, I didn’t want to try to resubmit.  Enough money had vanished to cyberspace.

Earlier this month I was with my family at Itasca State Park in Minnesota.  We waded right across the beginnings of the Mississippi.  Last night I ferried across the end of that same great river.  It was different, but yet the same water, same name.  From the headwaters to the Gulf, what a trip that river takes.  If only it could tell me.

How conveniently that leads into my focus for the day.  Persona and  personification.  Both of these techniques add richly to ones writing.  An entire genre of poetry is dedicated to the Persona, which is a type of dramatic monologue.  It’s one of my favorite styles of writing as I love to do the research. 

Once I wrote a poem about someone who committed suicide by walking into Lake Superior (which I later decided was too cold) with weights in her pockets. In order to write accurately, I walked into a lake in October of that year so that I could record the sensations.  I wisely plugged my nose as I walked into full submersion.  What I discovered is that the water was so frigid it caused me to involuntarily gasp deeply.  With my hand over my mouth and clamped on my nose, I avoided choking on the icy water with only a small amount being sucked in.

Last week’s focus on accuracy overlaps with this week’s focus on using a writing style of the persona.  Have you ever tried writing in another’s voice?  How did you get into that space? 

Prompts for July 29, 2009

  • Use the technique known as persona
  • Include the word “possession”
  • Reference transportation in some way
  • Make this piece dramatic
  • Tag with wwe

If you tag with wwe, I will definitely comment on it.  I will also request that the other Writing Essential editor/members either accept those submissions or leave them for me to accept.  I check the queue daily.  When I’m not eating breakfast at Café du Monde or strolling along Burbon Street, that is.

Also, I’m sorry I haven’t commented on last week’s submissions nor am I linking you to them now.  I will get to that asap when I’ve returned home.

About the Author ()

"Always try to add a little fizz and ginger to everything you write." --Matthew Stibbe

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