Friday, September 12, 2014

Make the Pen Mightier

In the fourth century, Euripides a Greek playwright, promoted word power with, ”The tongue is mightier than the blade.” In Hamlet Act 2, scene II, Shakespeare wrote, “many wearing rapiers are afraid of goosequills.” 
Edward Bulwer-Lytton etched eternal, “The pen is mightier than the sword,” in his play Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy. When he played The Joker in Batman, Jack Nicholson threw a poison quill into someone’s neck. The powerful pen concept has seen constant use in communicating the force of language.

All writers face beasts that sap word power. We find them disguised in a variety of costumes. Often we have to discover how to conquer them in ways beyond disciplining ourselves to write.

Beginning as well as experienced writers can discipline all day to sit in the seat and write. Yet, they might not have the insights and writing security or understanding of how to push the texts beyond what exists in their own points of view.

How do we develop techniques to gain fresh perspections (perception plus perspective)? The F words - fear, failure, frustration - will always loom and attack like Ninjas. The E words - ego, excuses, and energy level - lurk in shadows and dreams. 
We need to stoke writing energy by using the positive E’s: eyes, ears and enthusiasm to reach beyond Ego’s involvement in the story. This requires more than revision or re-vision. It involves another R word – Risk.

We can create our own warriors-with-a-pen and write past the Ninja swords.

Coloring your text will assist during the revision process. Use green to highlight active nouns and verbs. Highlight with red for “be” verb repetitions: is, am, was, were. Take blue for the action in the story or poem. Color adjectives and adverbs orange.
Use yellow to reveal areas where you tell the reader too much or use abstractions like love, death, fear, or rage.

Keep your pen moving beyond the battles. Take the risks needed to make your pen the conqueror.

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