Tuesday, 5 February 2013

On Poetry, or, Jess Fears Taking a Leap of Faith.

In the last month or so, I've found myself increasingly unable to think of any story ideas, and unable to write a single decent line in any of my novels. Instead, I've found my mind wandering towards poetry.

I find this odd, considering I've never really written much poetry before. In fact, I sort of think that I don't really get poetry. I mean, it has something to do with rhythm and words and... stuff, I guess? I don't know.

And the more poetry I've written, the more I've been thinking of trying to incorporate my newfound poetic style into a novel, like some of my favourite writers: Catherynne M. Valente, Markus Zusak, my friend Nafiza ;). But do people really want to read a whole novel of poetic beauty, where words flow like water? I mean, I do. Those are my favourite kinds of novels. I'm worried about the marketability of such work.

Another concern is that I may overdo the poetic prose, and it'll turn out like Taherah Mafi's Shatter Me. Now, I know a lot of people just absolutely love that book, but seriously, most of those metaphors don't even make sense. At times, you can see potential shining through, but it's mostly bogged down by prose that needs to be cut, reworded, and basically edited within an inch of its life.

So yeah, that's my conundrum. I want to write a novel with lush prose, but I'm scared to do it. (also, I don't really have much of an idea, which I suppose is my biggest problem, haha.)

It's a big step, a giant leap, and it's going to take a lot of self-prodding to do so. But something in my soul is yearning to come out, and one day, I'm going to have to comply.
One of my poems. Click to enlarge.

1 comment:

  1. Hee! ;)

    I've been told to cut down on the poetic prose, damnit! But it was warranted, it was totally warranted. I think with poetic (or what I call lyrical prose) prose, the idea is that less is more. I have a difficult time with it myself but as long as it doesn't go the Mafi way, I think we'll be good. Like for example, if I were to critique the piece above, I'd say "As I burn, you hiss," or something like that. The prof who's teaching my Writing for Children class is a poet and she's always telling us to think carefully about each single word. I used to write a LOT of poetry but for some reason, I don't anymore. Hm. I've read enough of your writing to know that even if you don't consciously make it poetic, it is poetic and rhythmic anyway. But it's always fun to try different writing styles so go for it!