Monday, April 7, 2014

How to write poems

First off, I want to say that poetry is not simply about rhyming that last word at the end of the sentence. Poems don't even have to rhyme!

I have never written poetry that doesn't rhyme so I won't talk about it, I just wanted you to know that it was out there.

The first thing you want to do when writing a poem is to pick a topic. A good topic is something that will invoke strong emotions in readers, something you care to write about and something personal. Once you've found a good topic just start writing lines. They don't have to be in order or make sense, the last word should just follow your rhyme scheme.

Didn't I just say not to do that earlier? Well yes, but now I'm telling you to do it. Poems, like every other form of writing need to be edited, don't try to constrain yourself and just create freely. I'll give you some constraints later.

When you right a poem, use as much purple prose as you can and don't shy away from near rhymes. They're just as good as full rhymes.

Here's a word of caution: Don't rhyme short words with long words and if at all possible rhyme the entire word or as much of it as possible (a perfect rhyme). If you need to use a short word with a longer word, pay attention to the words that preceded it.

Here are some examples.

Won't you say you love me?
Our love is pure serendipity.

Besides that being a horrible line for a poem, doesn't the flow just sound awful? Try this one instead.

Oh won't you come near me?
Our love is pure serendipity.

Doesn't it sound a little bit better? That's because near me is a closer rhyme to serendipity than love me is.

Rhyming the entire word is rare, but if you find the opportunity to do it, go for it. It will make for nicer flow.

Stuff like fear and rare; dying and crying. National and rational.

Don't just rely on perfect rhymes though, unless you plan on being Dr. Seuss, go for more ambitious rhymes.

So there goes the basic of rhyming, now I will give you the key to writing good poetry, something I figured out while writing parody songs. Syllables.

It's all in the syllables. Give each of your lines roughly the same amount of syllables, or if possible give them all the same amount of syllables. A good range seems to be from 8-12 and you should keep the syllables in the same stanza within one syllable of each other.

One final lesson  before I end this post. A rhyme scheme doesn't after to be 1-2, 1-2, 1-2.

It could be.

The possibilites are endless really, and nothing has to even rhyme.

That's all for today, if you have any questions please leave a comment below! Or email me at

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Making villains - Part 1

I should probably start with character creation in general, but I've already written a book on character creation. It consists of a series of posts which can be read for free here. I was actually writing another one a while back, that hasn't been finish yet. So look for that one in future posts!

Anyway, how to create villains?

To begin with, you should make a regular character. A good way is to base her around the opposite goals of your protagonist. (You could also do this in reverse). The purpose of a villain is to give the protagonist opposition and to drive the story along.

As a matter of fact, I'm going to stop saying that we're creating a villain because that word is misleading. We're making an antagonist. What's the difference? Let me define the four terms briefly.

Villain: An evil person, up to evil things.
Hero: A good person up to good things.
Protagonist: The hero of the story.
Antagonist: The villain of the story.

Just imagine for a moment that you have a villain protagonist. That would make the hero the antagonist. Meaning from the villains point of view the hero is evil and she's good.

So that's the basic principle of creating antagonist: Evilness is in the eyes of the beholder.

Let's expand on that some.

Whatever the antagonists goals are there should be some nobility in them, someone should be able to believe in the goal, first and foremost your antagonist herself, but other, non-antagonistic, non-maladjusted people. Everyday people, such as some of your readers.

Some people say that your villain needs to be redeemable, I say she shouldn't need redemption in the first place. If her goals are somewhat noble, than what does she need redemption for?

That seems fair enough point to leave off on. As the name suggests, I will be writing more on villains (maybe not immediately, because I'm an erratic person like that).

If you have any questions or have a topic you wish for me to discuss, comment or email me at

So you want to be a writer?

Hey guys, welcome back!

Is it really welcome back at this point? I feel like I'm probably writing this to myself (unless I decide to spam my friends with this link. Evil laughter)


So I hear that you've decided to be a writer. Congratulations!

You probably think that you're going to write an epic novel in a month and get on talk shows the next. If only it was that simple. The reality of it all, is that you probably don't have the skills. Don't know how to plot, create characters, worlds or maybe you're just lacking a basic comprehension of the English language.

Fear not, for I am here. When I first entered the scene 5 years ago, the only thing I possessed was a basic comprehension of the English language. Now, I can competently create characters and plot from beginning to end. World creation? I'm getting there.

Over the next few days, months and years I'll be giving you countless advice on how to do these things. But first, let me ask you two simple questions. Why do you want to be a writer?

Think hard about this, because when things get hard you'll need to ask yourself "Why did I become a writer in the first place?!" and if you don't like the answer you give, then walk away. It's not the job for you.

Speaking of which, what type of writer would you like to be? Me personally, I write over a vast span of medium and genre. Why? Because I can! There's... actually some deeper reasons than that that I'll explain below.

This is probably what you think of when you hear the word writer. Being a novelist is certainly the hardest for me. Whether you write short stories or novels, the thing that sets being a novelist apart from the others is that you have to paint a picture with words. You've gotta be descriptive and you can't be repetitive.

Poetry is a special type of art form. As I write more and more poems, I'm learning that it's not just about rhyming words at the end of the sentence. It's all in the syllables.

Poetry is very expressive and can be either very structured or very free.

I'll admit that I don't have the skills to illustrate a comic myself, but making comics has always fascinated me. You don't have to worry about descriptions for anything. You can just write whatever crude description for your artist that s/he can comprehend.

Another bonus of comics? If we're talking strips or slice-of-life is no plotting! Plotting can be very hard and very scary, so if you don't have to worry about it while you develop other writing techniques, it can make your life easier.

Being a screenwriter isn't quite like writing a novel or a manga. It needs a plot, characters, everything that a novel does. But it's without the difficulties of writing descriptive prose (again, whatever your animators can comprehend).

So those are the four brands of writing I'll be touching on. I've even dabbled some in songwriting, but I only wrote theme songs and parody songs, so if you really wanna hear my advice, hit me in an email. (If it starts to become a popular enough subject maybe I'll make a post).

Anything you'd like me to touch on? Feel free to leave a comment or contact me at

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Welcome to EMA Nation!

The name may have lead you believe that I am a woman. Actually, I'm a man and those are simply my initials. I'm a bit shy about giving my real name to the general public, so for now, please call Ema.

What exactly is this blog about? It's about learning how to write by taking the road less travelled and following me as I walk that road. Where does the road I'm walk lead? Does it lead to fame and fortune, I  don't know. Is it an easy road to walk? Not always.

But is it fun? Yes.

And am I happy? Definitely.