Intro to Sonnet Building 101

So, five people expressed interest in participating in a step-by-step sonnet writing series here on the blog. I was a little torn by that, to be honest. It wasn’t as many people as I hoped, but it was enough that I wanted to do it. I really love helping people, and I feel like I have information worth sharing when it comes to writing sonnets. But I also didn’t want to ostracize my non-poet blog followers. What to do?

My solution? I’m going to do it, in honor of National Poetry Month (which I’ve rather sillilly dubbed NaPoMo), but I’m going to go a little bit further, because I think prose writers have something to gain from poetry. As an additional twist to *hopefully* include you non-poets, I’ll be turning each step of the sonnet class into a lesson that can be equally applied to prose. So even if you’re not writing a sonnet with us (and I do hope you will), please stop by to talk shop. You might be surprised at how relevant sonnets are to novels, short stories, and prose in general.

The schedule:
1 post a week (on Mondays) for 1 month

April 2- Step One: “Gathering DNA”
April 9- Step Two: “Structuring a Skeleton”
April 16- Step Three: “Filling out the Flesh”
April 23- Step Four: “Muscle Sculpting”
April 30- Step Five: “Final Dress”

So can you do it if you didn’t “sign up”? Of course you can! Please do! I don’t care when you do it. The more participants, the better. The lessons are here for you to use; jump in any time you want! Although as incentive, I might be offering a free poetry critique of everyone who completes a sonnet during the course. Optional. But free.

Still hesitant? I understand. Sonnets can be intimidating. They seem so strict and structured and stiff. That’s why I’m doing this; to help break down that barrier. But you know what? It doesn’t have to be perfect. That’s one of the best parts about writing a poem. If it sucks, no one has to know you even wrote it. 😉

If you want to follow along, don’t forget to subscribe. On my sidebar at the right, you can either enter your email address to get new posts sent directly to you, or add me to your RSS feed.

I hope to see you all here on Monday! Happy NaPoMo!

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  • Todd Moody

    This actually sounds very cool. I have written very little poetry, but I do see the value in it. I actually wrote my wife a poem for Valentines Day two years ago and she treasures it. =)

    • Thanks Todd! I love that you wrote a Valentine poem for your wife! I’m always trying to tell guys that’s a winner, but so many of them are embarrassed or think it’s cheesy. What woman wouldn’t love that though?! Good for you. =) Glad to have you onboard!

  • Todd Moody

    BTW I love NaPoMo!

  • Pegab

    I’m not a poetry writer but am still fascinated by this idea. Sonnets do seem “strict and structured and stiff” and intimidating to me. That’s why I love “The Adventures of Squirmy” so much. With a lot of imagination and humor, you followed the rules for a Shakespearean sonnet and wrote that most delightful little sonnet! You taught me that sonnets can be loads of fun:) I’m looking forward to this series.

    • Aw, thank you so much! That’s really sweet. Maybe you can write one of your own…

  • Rich Weatherly

    Hello Annie,

    Patrick forwarded your post. I’m am definitely interested in participating in the Sonnet writing 101 that you propose.

    I’ve just subscribed to this blog and I’m eager to see this play out.

    • Hi Rich! It’s so nice to see your face here! =) I love that you’re jumping in. I can’t wait to see how you like it. Thanks for stopping by — and for subscribing!

  • Dahnya Och

    Happy NaPoMo! (I still love it…)

    I’m really glad you decided to move forward with this. It looks like you’re going to get a few more students than you thought (welcome everyone!) and I’m really excited to learn about writing sonnets. I haven’t tried to write poetry since just after High School, so we’ll see how this goes!

    • Yay! Yes, new sonneteers have jumped in, and it’s wonderful! I’m really excited. When I mentioned the free poem critique at the end, my husband said, “But what if this goes viral and you have like 500 participants?” And I said, “Are you KIDDING? That’d be awesome!” It would totally be worth it. =) No matter what, it should be fun. Thanks Dahnya!

  • -j-

    YAY! I’m in. I think it might be even more fun for us non-poets. We have no expectations… it’ll be like a big sandbox for us. (I FB’d your post in case anyone there wants to play.)

    (I briefly considered a sonnet written in emoticons but then I had my coffee and some brain cells kicked in.)

    • Thank you J! I’m so excited! We’re going to have so much fun!! =D 🙂 =) Parade of smileys, just for you. 😉

  • Karen

    Hey, I just wanted to tell you about the poetry we’ve been writing in my classes. It isn’t a sonnet, but is a 6 Room Poem and the kids are having a blast! I’m hoping to put some up on my website and I’ll let you know when I do. 🙂

    • Hey Karen! I’ve never heard of a 6 Room Poem before, but I Googled it and it looks really neat. =) I’m so glad you you’re getting your students involved in poetry. I had some great English and Language Arts teachers to thank for my own introduction to it. And yes, please send me the link once it’s up; I’d love to see it!