Anyway, my motto this semester has been, "I have no idea what I'm doing." I was a fiction writer taking no fiction classes, but nonfiction and poetry. I started the semester not knowing how to write competently in those styles, but I think I've learned my lessons well. So, as the title of this post says, I now know what I'm doing. Allow me to share my wisdom that I've gleaned over the semester with you.
- Never say "allow me to share my wisdom." It sounds pretentious.
- The power of poetry is in being surprising: surprising images, emotions, juxtapositions.
- The bias seems to be against poetry that rhymes, unless you can make the rhymes almost invisible.
- It is possible to go a winter with one glove, if you have deep coat pockets.
- It's also possible to go a winter with one glove and completely forget the spare glove in the closet.
- Doctor Who is awesome!
- As is BBC's Robin Hood.
- In nonfiction writing, you will bare your soul. And that's okay.
- Too much baring, however, can make readers feel dirty, like they're at a peep show.
- Teaching is awesome. Grading is about as fun as injecting fire ants into your eardrums.
- The music of words is, in poetry, more important than meaning. Listen.
- In nonfiction, music and meaning must combine.
- Also, nonfiction can be very rambling. It takes the writer's skill to control the rambling and end when the piece is complete, not when there is no more to say.
- Excellent writing can cover a multitude of sins. Like bad plotting, or logical gaffes.
- So, if I write fiction with beautiful language, I might get away with more.
- All words are words. Even "treewhippery."
- Poetry and nonfiction seem to be art forms where the right brain acts first, and the left brain refines, as opposed to the other way around.
- I make a mean Milky Way cake.
Maybe I'll write a character who likes British television and loses her gloves!