Editing Exercises

16 Jan

Hey , Kat here! Below are some exercises from Ioney’s session on Friday 15th that you could use to edit your own poem. Maybe ask to swap with another poet and help each other edit and give feedback on your poems. Hope this helps 🙂

When looking at your poem, verbs are very important for not only the movement of your piece but also connotations, with some verbs adding an entirely different meaning to a line even if they are supposed to represent the same action.
For example, the difference between smiled and grinned in the sentences “Grandma smiled at me” “Grandma grinned at me”.

  • Read through your poem and underline all verbs
  • Think of at least three alternative verbs for each verb in the poem – Try and have a theme for the verbs e.g.verbs connected to cakes
  • How has the mood and meaning been changed with the new verbs? Consider if any of the verbs work better in the poem than the original choice

Redundancies in a poem are the excess words you don’t need to describe the core meaning/ what you want to say in that line. Within a piece they can sometimes act as clutter around the meaning you actually want to convey to your audience, possibly causing confusion, or buffer the statement you are making, giving it less impact.
For example, in the phrase “On a hot scorching summers day…”, removing the unnecessary adjectives that have similar meanings leaves “On a scorching day…” or possibly “On a summers day…”. Both of these phrases have cut redundancies but have entirely different core meanings. Consider what you want your line and poem to say when cutting words out.

  • Pick out a phrase or sentence or line that constitutes your SS10 poem’s emotional core – what is the main meaning and point you want to convey with this poem?
  • Write it again on the top of your poem
  • Cut any lines/words/phrases that do not adhere to the emotional core
  • Be ruthless. Remember you still have your original to return to.

In the session we experimented with saying our lines slower, faster, higher or lower in order to see the different effects our voice had on a line and also how that changed the meaning of what we were saying. Also, we discussed how adding in pauses allowed us to build tension and therefore build the power of what we were saying.

  • Have four coloured pens; one for volume, one for pitch, one for speed and one for pause
  • Go through your SS10 poem underlining the words/lines/phrases, using use the colours to guide how you will perform it
  • Play around and experiment with saying lines how you wouldn’t usually perform them
  • Practice performing the piece how you’ve now coloured it – what do you think works and what doesn’t? Change it up as much as you need

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