Writing Well

Picture This: Description

  • This Is My Letter
  • This is my letter to the world
    That never wrote to me—
    The simple news that Nature told
    With tender majesty.
  • Her message is committed
    To hands I cannot see;
    For love or her, sweet countrymen,
    Judge tenderly of me.
  • —Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Only seven of the more than 1,700 poems Emily Dickinson wrote were published during her lifetime. We write for many reasons: to define something, explain a process, inform others, pass on news, solve problems, tell a story, make money, persuade others—and to express our feelings. In this section, we'll explore writing that describes and reveals our deepest thoughts and feelings.

The section starts with a look at writing journals and ways they can help your writing—and your life. Next, you'll learn all about descriptive writing, essays that use vivid images to paint a word picture of a person, place, scene, object, or emotion.

Then I'll show you how to express yourself in poetry. You'll learn why writing a poem is among the most satisfying kinds of writing you can do, for poetry lets you express your ideas and emotions as your language soars. After I define poetry, we'll survey the different types of poems, poetic elements, and figures of speech. The section concludes with some concrete guidelines to help you start writing poetry now.

book cover

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Well © 2000 by Laurie Rozakis, Ph.D.. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book direct from the publisher, visit the Penguin USA website or call 1-800-253-6476. You can also purchase this book at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

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