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Writing Resources: The Poetry Redrafting Code

What to check If not …
Is it the best word?
(A thesaurus might help but best doesn’t mean biggest)
Change the word
Are there any old-fashioned words?
(Tis, til, oft)
Get rid of them – you’re a 21st century poet!
Are there any cliches?
(tired, over-used expressions)
Get rid of them – you’re unique – so is your poem
Are the words in the best order? Rearrange the order
Do I need this word?
(No need for sentences)
Cross it out!
Does it sound good?
(Read it aloud; get someone else to read it aloud – listen to the rhythm)
Change the bits that sound wrong
Is this a good place to break the line? Start a new line
Join the next line on
Should there be a pause here? poetry pauses are:-
full stops,
question/exclamation marks,
spaces in mid- line,
speech marks,
ends of lines,
ends of verses.
Is it spelt right? Correct it
Is it set out on the page how I want it?
Does it look right?
It matters!
Poems could use:–
indented alternate lines;
capital letters at beginning of lines or none at all;
picture shapes;
fancy lettering/fonts;
italics/bold/brackets illustrations.

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