And I’m back! I have no posts scheduled because I took a complete break, but I shall get some written up and scheduled soon. Also, a bunch of new comments appeared on the blog while I was on my hiatus, and I will be getting to those…sometime. I’ve been feeling a little bit like butter spread too thin recently, but that break was refreshing.
Today I’m participating in the TWCT blog chain hosted by Teens Can Write, Too! The prompt for this month is pretty awesome: “What are your thoughts on reading or writing books in non-novel formats? Are there any you’ve particularly enjoyed?” Oh, goody.
Although I will always prefer the traditional novel format, novels told in different formats can be wonderful for a change of pace in reading. I especially love reading poems in verse. I am a lover of poetry because if written well, a poem can offer vivid imagery in such a small amount of words. Whenever I’m in the mood for a little bit of absolutely gorgeous writing, I can always look to my favorite poems. (I suggest “O Me, O Life” by Walt Whitman, “Sestina” by Elizabeth Bishop and “The Bells” by Edgar Allen Poe.)
I love that I can read a poem over and over again because they are so short, and understand that poem even more with each reread. There is so much subtly hidden in between the lines when reading poetry, and rereading a poem helps to let all that gorgeousness sink in. I also love how rhythmic poems often are, especially those by Edgar Allen Poe. I just can’t handle all the gorgeousness. And that’s why I love reading novels in verse.
Verse does not work for all novels, but when used for the right one, it helps to create a short story that packs a powerful punch. I find that so much can be hidden in between the lines of poetry, and a lot of times, the subtlety in poetry prompts the reader to think. I want to read novels that make me think, and the sparse nature of novels written in verse is an excellent way of making me think.
If you’re looking for some beautiful novels written in verse, I suggest Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse, Inside Out and Back Again by Thanha Lai, and The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. All of these novels tell powerful stories. The first tells the story of a girl braving the Dust Bowl, the second tells the story of a girl braving a move from her native country, and the third tells a story of a girl and her relationship with animals at the zoo. There’s a sparseness to these stories that fits them perfectly well, and the poetry aspect packs so much emotion into one novel.
As for writing a novel in verse…well, I’ve never tried that, and I honestly don’t see myself trying it. However, I do sometimes try my hand at poetry to help me with my novel and short story writing. The wonderful thing about poems is that most of them are short. When I revise a poem, I don’t have to face a daunting amount of words to perfect. I can focus on perfecting only a few words, which allows me to study my rhythm, word choice and subtlety really in-depth. And that makes recreating that editing on a larger scale so much easier. Writing poetry is the perfect exercise for fiction writers, you guys. Do it.
And that’s it for today. Do go check out the rest of the blog chain.
6th – http://ch1con.tumblr.com
23rd – http://miriamjoywrites.com/
27th – https://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com/ (We’ll announce the topic for next month’s chain.)