No Haiku, please. I’m a writer.

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At a weekend workshop recently a woman was having difficulty with description. She could see the scene clearly but in describing it, managed to dilute it with too many words. The question was – how to fix this. I suggested we spent an hour looking at Haiku.

She said,’I don’t want to write Haiku. I want to write descriptions in prose.’

I said that was fine. We weren’t changing genre, simply looking at how Haiku distills a scene and finds its essence.

She said, ‘I still don’t want to write Haiku.’

‘You don’t have to – just study it for a while and let the techniques used inform your writing.

She said, ‘But you dont’ understand. I DON’T WANT TO WASTE TIME WRITING HAIKU!’

Later, at lunch, she commented on how much she was enjoying the workshop. ‘It’s lovely,’ she said, ‘to spend time with other like-minded people. Writers are so interesting, so open to new ideas, don’t you think?’
I do.

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