1000 Followers!

This is unprecedented, unreal, unbelievable! To have reached 1000 followers on this blog of mine is truly humbling. If you had said to me, when I started uploading my ramblings, that I’d have reached a hundred followers I would have laughed. After that, I would’ve continued to face-plant my keyboard in the never ending search for inspiration.

But here we are, and I’m incredibly thankful for it. When I started writing this blog, I didn’t have a clear idea of what I actually wanted to do with it. It has certainly evolved from the haiku, clunky prose, and sparse verse of my past. The truth is the more I write on here, the more comfortable I become as both a blogger and a writer. It’s a lovely feeling, and as a community, you’ve all been wonderful to me – thank you.

*Gives you all an internet high-five*

That being said, I still have a long way to go! The good news? I have plans (muahaha) *rubs hands in anticipation*.  So yes, this blog post is a little bit more than a quick thank you, I have some stuff to announce.

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Sharing a Favourite

I know that, for a lot of us, poetry isn’t just a one-day deal. There are plenty of bloggers here on WordPress that practically breath poetry.

But it is nice to see that the art form is being universally celebrated for at least one day a year.

Yes, today is World Poetry Day.

In light of this occasion, I would like to share with you one of my favourite poems. Invictus by W.E. Henley is the poem I turn to when I doubt myself, when I’m feeling down, or even just for fun! (Yes, just because I like poetry doesn’t mean I’m always sat in a dark corner somewhere feeling sad.)

Do you have a favourite poem? If so, tell me in the comments below.

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There is Nothing Sweeter than a Free Book!

A London Book Haul

You may have noticed that I’ve been to The London Book Fair, god knows my Twitter feed has been full of stuff about it.

For those of you who don’t know much about it, The London Book Fair is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels.

It is an annual event that sees more than 25,000 publishing professionals, authors, and students arrive in London for the week of the Fair to network, attend seminars, and kick off the year of business.

Perhaps even more important, however, is the metric tonne of free stuff that one can acquire. Continue reading “There is Nothing Sweeter than a Free Book!”

Show, Don’t Tell: Is it That Simple?

Anyone that has ever taken a creative writing course or an interest in the subject has most likely encountered the famous phrase: show, don’t tell! I’ve received this as feedback countless times and have been told the phrase even more so. But what I haven’t often been battered over the head with, is what show, don’t tell actually bloody means!

It is often said that showing, not telling, is the best way to write fiction. This opinion often stems from the fact that people who are just beginning to write have a tendency to tell the audience about everything happening in a story, rather than show them. This, of course, is not always the case. Even established authors can be guilty of over-telling.

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The Sun is Poetry

The Sun is poetry. No, seriously! The Sun is poetry, you just don’t know it yet.

Opinions on The Sun divide the nation here in the UK (I can’t speak for anywhere else in the world.) Many view it, myself included, as a supercilious tabloid that spews invective left, right, and centre. I am, however, open to the fact that I may be missing something by dismissing it as so. The Sun has the biggest readership via circulation of physical copies of any newspaper here in the UK, and there is certainly a reason as to why so many people read it, but one that I fail to see.

That’s not to say I think other newspapers far excel The Sun; I’m not particularly fond of The Express, Daily Mail, or even The Guardian, and that saddens me. It saddens me that these news outlets all have their own agenda to peddle, that news has to make money and be first instead of being news, and that I can’t read something in a paper or online and believe it without fact checking it first.

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Primary Education is Lacking!

We spend a lot of time persuading others. Whether it is what kind of take-out food we want, what to watch at the cinema, or just exactly what to think of Donald Trump. One thing is certain, a lot more time than we think is spent trying to persuade. For most, persuasion is part of their daily routine. For some, their job is built entirely around it. We often see politicians persuading people that their party is the best, celebrities persuading the public to give to charity, lawyers persuading an audience of someone’s innocence or guilt.

So, it’s safe to say that the ability to persuade is pretty important, which is why my focus has been on classical rhetoric of late. If you’ve been following my blog recently, you may have noticed that I have been writing a lot about classical rhetoric and how it can improve writing. I have talked about structure and techniques, but – apart from some small quotes from literature – have provided very little in the way of an example of how it could be used. With this in mind, I have decided to give an example of a polemic I wrote a month or so before Christmas as a piece of coursework for my Master’s degree.

So what exactly is a polemic? It is, in the briefest terms, a strong verbal or written attack on someone or something. Politicians are often seen delivering these. The idea of a polemic is to persuade the audience, often by creating an emotional response or call to action.

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Classical Rhetoric: Schemes of Repetition

You like repeating yourself, I like repeating myself, we all like repeating ourselves right? Wrong. At some point, we have all found repetition to be a bugbear. Whether it’s repeating your drink order again and again at a noisy bar, rereading the same line of a book over and over, or your partner’s mother asking you to put your shoes in the shoe cupboard for the eightieth time, repetition can be annoying. So, what would you say if I told you that repetition (when used in the right way) can be a very powerful tool in written or verbal communication?

Repetition comes in many more forms than just the exasperation of a parent who has continually asked their child to tidy the bedroom for three weeks. The best known, and most commonly used, is called anaphora. Anaphora has been utilised in writing for as long as people have been engaging with the craft. Look at speeches and literature, and you will see this technique used liberally; Shakespeare used anaphora in many of his poems and scripts, Churchill’s famous speech ‘we will fight them on the beaches… .’ is filled with it, even John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath uses this technique. The beauty of anaphora is that it is easy to use, all you have to do is repeat the same word (or group of words) at the beginning of successive clauses.

Following on from last week’s post, in which I introduced you to the structure of Classical Rhetoric, this article will present you with a (by no means exhaustive) list of some schemes of repetition that you can use to enhance your writing. Here we go.

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