There’s no right or wrong way to attack the November challenge, but I have to admit that I like to take chances during this particular challenge. For instance, the poems I’ve been writing so far this month are a little more narrative and wordy than I typically write. But that’s okay! I’ll have December and beyond to play around with them. I hope you’re able to take some chances this month too!
For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Once Upon a (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles might include: “Once Upon a Time,” “Once Upon a Pedestal,” or “Once Upon a Diet.” As usual, have fun with it.
Revision doesn’t have to be a chore–something that should be done after the excitement of composing the first draft. Rather, it’s an extension of the creation process!
In the 48-minute tutorial video Re-creating Poetry: How to Revise Poems, poets will be inspired with several ways to re-create their poems with the help of seven revision filters that they can turn to again and again.
Here’s my attempt at a Once Upon a Blank poem:
“Once Upon a Friendship”
After dinner, Marcus wandered out to the old clubhouse
in the back yard. When he was younger, this is where
he’d hang out all the time with his friends Walt and
Jesse. In fact, they were the three amigos, three
musketeers, and the holy trinity times three thousand
and three. Whatever happened to us, Marcus wondered,
how did we splinter? Of course, Walt was still a friend–
a best friend!–but Jesse slipped away with his clothes
that were better, his jokes that were meaner, and his age:
He was older than Marcus and Walt, and he made sure
they always knew it. Still, Marcus thought, he could be
fun and brave. That’s why the girls loved him…because
he wasn’t shy or afraid to take risks. Just then, Marcus
remembered something–something to change his life.
Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He edits Poet’s Market and Writer’s Market, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.
This is his eighth year of hosting and participating in the November PAD (Poem-A-Day) Chapbook Challenge. He can’t wait to see what everyone creates this month–not only on a day-by-day basis, but when the chapbooks start arriving in December and January. Fun, fun, fun.
Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.