December is here, and whether you are at the beginning of winter or the beginning of summer, moping over writer’s block is just a burden we could do without. The season is too busy, and too full of potential fun. So, I’m going to set aside goals for this month, and just have fun with my characters in my brain. If some progress happens, great. If it doesn’t, then at least I wasn’t moping the whole damn day.
This week’s technique is haiku, the Japanese poetry form that generally requires you to create a short, intense poem of five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third. This 5-7-5 pattern is somewhat negotiable, especially if your goal is to have some fun. Many people also require a seasonal word, but to heck with requirements. Do it if you like the extra swaddling of a special rule; leave it out if you are feeling pretty good without it.
I structured my poems this morning on a poem/response/response-to-the-poem pattern between two secondary characters in my current WIP. It’s kind of fun, like two characters writing letters to each other to work out their issues. One of the tangles in my story is that in the past, Thom stole the gold Nixie was guarding. I can’t share all the haiku in my process, because some of them are just too cringeworthy and melodramatic to ever see the light of the internet. However, I really like this one, even though it has some faults.
Gold for a nest’s egg
I stole from a Valkyrie.
She came home to roost.
I know that in real life, people do crappy things to each other all the time, yet somehow, they are able to forgive and/or redeem themselves. The problem is, I’m not quite sure how they do it when the stakes are really big. Probably lots of sitting around and talking it out, which is death to a story (especially a short story). I am so stuck.
But one haiku in my series gives me a little bit of a handle on the problem that I didn’t have before. I’m not sure if this is Thom or Nixie speaking. Perhaps it’s the narrator.
Title (because with six syllables, it can’t be part of the poem):
Who wants a mended pot?
A pot once broken
Can be carefully mended.
Cracks look intended.
So . . . maybe Nixie needs a thief to steal something even more important to her than her father’s gold? That way, Thom’s flaw becomes an asset, and the story could go on.
(-: Which just leads me to the next question: what could Nixie want that’s more important than her father’s approval? Maybe a new fun technique can help me answer that question. Tune in next week! (And feel free to leave a seasonal haiku – or any kind of short poem – in the comments. ‘Tis the season to be jolly!)