How It Makes Sense
By Ann Bogle
As you develop as a writer, and when I use the word “writer” I might also mean “poet,” “playwright,” “short story writer,” “novelist,” “essayist,” or “journalist,” you will feel required to position yourself regarding logic:
Do your writings make sense to you and other people? Are you fulfilling or defying convention? Are you adhering to rules in genre or breaking rank? What should a stanza or paragraph contain, how should it be arranged, what should it look like on the page, and sound like to the ear? Do you observe correct syntax, usage, and mechanics or break sentences and paragraphs into less expected units of thought and speech? Do you work more with the reader’s sensibilities or your own? Are you writing in a tradition, a school? Are you writing based on reading—as if in conversation with other writers–knowing the field and the range—or expressing yourself without weight or benefit of history?
If you write conventionally, who is your audience? How does that audience react to abstract writing? How do you react to it? If you write more abstractly—after all, all language is abstract—who is the audience? Is your writing rhythmic? How is meaning transmitted in your work? In the letter-writing exercise, two cut-up versions and one careful revision create conflations and multiple readings of one text that you produced. Do you enjoy the unintended meanings of the cut-ups or feel that they distort in an undesirable way? Is your goal to write what you know correctly or to write what you don’t know abstractly? When would you rather make conventional sense and when would you rather be musical—as if music doesn’t make “sense”—or poetic or abstract?
These are some of the questions.
Newsletter contributor Ann Bogle has published short stories, prose, and poetry in many literary journals in print and online. For a listing of her publications and a sampling of her writing visit Ana Verse at: