Books by Lorie Ann Grover

Books by Lorie Ann Grover
Kirkus Starred Review, Firstborn: "A fantasy that reads like a lost history tome and deftly examines issues of gender...An engrossing story with welcome depths."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

On the Verse Novel

I just answered an email about verse novels and thought to share my musings here with you all. If you write verse this might get your mind moving.

First off, definitely read everything written in verse. There are so many YA verse novels available now. We have carved out our own genre! Woohoo!

As you read, do you see a difference, say between, True Believer and What My Mother Doesn't Know and Your Own, Sylvia?

The image The image

There's a wide range of how poetic verse novels feel. I think I've mentioned the three in order of poetic overtones. Virginia Euwer Wolff refuses to call her work poetry. Whereas, I'm sure it's high in the thoughts of Sonya Sones
and Stephanie Hemphill. I guess I'm saying there's a bar that slides between narrative and poem. My work is closer to Virginia's, narrative.

If your work is more narrative, I suggest reading straight poetry that you enjoy. I love Janet Wong's work, Langston Hughes, and Walt Whitman.

You'll find poetic elements dropping into your writing. Your ear will pick them up and place them into your work.

If your novel is closer to poetry, definitely study books on how to write poetry. Know those structures, play with them, read other poets, rewrite your poems in various forms.

I tend to return to Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge's work Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words. I just ordered her Foolsgold as well.

Just a few thoughts on verse. That form that holds intense emotion with the barest language. I love it!

~Lorie Ann Grover, rgz diva/author


Lorie Ann Grover said...

I just have to add that I have the same fab agent as Virginia: Elizabeth Harding of Curtis Brown, Ltd. She also represents the amazing poet Nikki Grimes.

I lurve my agent.

~Lorie Ann

Anonymous said...

Hurrah for poets then and now.

Jackie Parker said...

I can never choose between my two fav verse novels: Out of the Dust & One of those Hideous Books where the Mother Dies

Lorie Ann Grover said...

I didn't know that, Jackie! My absolute fav is Out of the Dust. In fact when Loose Threads was a picture book, Emma Dryden asked if it could be a novel like Out of the Dust. :~)

Make Lemonade though was probably a closer sister. And Virginia was the first verse novelist!