Try something new

As today is the first day of the semester at my university, and I will be meeting my first class of students this afternoon, I wanted to honor the idea of the new – new semester, new season, new students, new challenges – with a brief post about trying something new in your writing.

If you’re like most writers, you spend a lot of time composing words in Times New Roman 12-point font in sentence and paragraph (or stanza) form on 8.5 x 11 pages of paper (or digital versions of the printed page). The lines of text on the page look like the lines I’m typing here. Horizontal, moving from left to right, lengthy blocks followed by more lengthy blocks of text.

When is the last time you played with how your text LOOKS on the page? Not just a different size or font type, but how the words are structured on the page. Say you’re musing about that time when your boyfriend proposed






What if you played with s p a c i n g and visual appeal?

What effect might that have on your story?


As I try to remind my students when we start experimenting with visual form, if you’re going to go for it, go all the way. No half-ass attempts here. If playing with the way the words look on the page makes sense for your story. . .if adding that visual element will strengthen and improve the impact of your piece, then you must try it. You can always go back to the safe zone.











Try something new. You might be very surprised at the result.


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