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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Looking for Structural Elements

I'm working on finishing up the manuscript I've been writing the past (almost) two years. Most of the poems are done, so now I'm trying to come up with an order of poems and a manuscript title. To that end, I've been busy re-reading articles on both issues.

For what it's worth, here's a quick list of the resources on these topics I've mentioned in the past:

Katrina Vandenbergs' Putting Your Manuscript in Order: The Mix-Tape Strategy (Poets & Writers)
Jeffrey Levine's On Making the Poetry Manuscript (his own blog)
April Ossman's Thinking Like an Editor: How to Order Your Poetry Manuscript (Poets & Writers)
Albert Rios's Organization Strategies (his own website)

Albert Rios's Titling a Poem, Titling Anything (his own website)
Amy Fleming's Expanding Your Poem Through a Great Title (Through the Third Eye)
Annie Neugebauer's Titling Poems (her own blog)
Matthea Harvey's "If You Agree, Won't You Change the Title for Me? (Poem Present)

So after going through all these, it was serendipity that I put on my headphones to listen to the podcasts I've downloaded recently only to hear Radiotopia's Tim Key's Suspended Sentence, about a novelist trying to come up with a good first line. A little different than what I was thinking about, but definitely using the same muscle. Enjoy.


Anonymous said...

Only when trying, for the first time, to title a collection or (and it is even worse) to place poems in an order you realize how difficult a task it is. I've spent over three years with that before someone simply came to rescue me.

I am not sure when I'll be able to run through this list but I'll save it up for later.

Jessica Goodfellow said...

I'm glad you were able to get the help you needed, Guy. These are useful resources for your next project though. Could save you a few years, maybe?

Shawnte said...

When I was a teenager, I would collect bootleg recordings of my favorite bands (before the internet made that stuff so much easier). I was fascinated by the construction of setlists. How different each show could be, from night to night, depending on the order of the songs.

That influence was embedded in my DNA so I approach a manuscript like I'm trying to create a memorable concert.

Jessica Goodfellow said...

It's a great article, isn't it, Shawnte? You should write one about your process....