Poetry Editing Tips

9Worlds GeekFestFrom Dan Simpson, whose new poetry book was published TODAY!

• Read / perform it out loud – what sounds good? What doesn’t work so well? Especially useful for rhyming poems to check metre and if the rhyme is good or not!
• Poetry is the ‘best words in best order’. Go through line by line: is there a more accurate word you can use in descriptions? Stronger forms of language?
• What’s your strongest / most powerful / best line? Should that be put to top of the poem, or the end?
• Which poetic tools are you using (ie. simile / metaphor, rhyme etc) and why? What effect does that have on the meaning and to the listener?
• Are you being original in your phrases and images? Avoid using clichés!
• Specific images are good, vague images are not. eg: “Anger is like fire” says nothing much, but “Anger is like fire / the first hot flames of feeling hitting you in the face / then glowing softly like embers in your mind”.
• Have you said what you wanted to say by the end of the poem?
• Final edit: would you pay 50p per word of this poem.

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