January 26, 2007, Newsletter Issue #95: Tight, clean verse

Tip of the Week

Since a poem is a *highly compressed* form of writing, ALL words must be relevant, well-chosen, and evocative. Working words, in other words. Edit your verse for words which, standing alone, say or add nothing. Scan for cliche´s and trite-sounding language. Verbs should be active, adjectives descriptive, and adverbs nearly always absent.

The rule of thumb for editing your verse is this: the simplest word that still conveys your meaning is best. Anything fluffier is just getting in the way.

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