So You Want to Write


If you want to write meaningful fiction,

You’ll need a setting that forces your characters to grow.

Shall it be modern, Edwardian, or antebellum?

Which conflict will nurture the plot elements you sow?


You need a hero to carry your readers’ hopes,

Trusted friends on whom he or she can rely,

And a villain or rival to bar the path of ease,

Leaving a trial by fire your protag can’t deny.


And don’t neglect to add a twist at the end,

An improbable fruit of an earlier seed,

Or perhaps an unlooked-for result,

A reflection of your character’s most deep-seated need.


Stir that melody of elements together inside you,

Water it with tears, give it all that you are–

Write and rewrite until only the story remains,

And publish with the hope that your tale will go far.

Avid writer and reader of Faerie tales and noblebright fantasy.

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Posted in My Stories
22 comments on “So You Want to Write
  1. Love it! Sharing… πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rajagopal says:

    Exquisite poetic expression of the urge to write. Nice sitting with you, Cathleen, to share the pangs around creativity’s bonfire…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. fictionspawn says:

    Motivation in the morning. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I do love this, Cathleen. Warms my heart to read as it explains what writing is all about in a simple-to-understand ‘recipe’. ❀ ❀ πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ann Coleman says:

    Excellent advice for all fiction writers, whether they are just beginning their writing career or have been writing for many years. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks so much, Tess, Ann, and Shane. Sometimes when I’m feeling overwhelmed it helps me to simplify. Figured it might resonate with someone else. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Brilliant! Very reminiscent of Kipling’s “If”, which is one of my absolute favouritest poems of all time. I hope you don’t mind if I reblog this.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on Observations of The Urban Spaceman and commented:
    Ever wondered how to write captivating prose? Cathleen Townsend explains it beautifully in poetry!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jade M. Wong says:

    Oh wow! Perfect description of the process and the mindset of a writer. Just perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. E. E. Rawls says:

    “Stir that melody of elements inside you”
    –I love the last four stanzas!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What a beautiful way to write about writing! The melody of elements – lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. That was fun, Cathleen. The writing process captured in poetry πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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