Thursday, January 21, 2010

Style vs. Substance

I’ll admit it, I’m the occasional poet.

My interest in poetry stems from being on the receiving end of some spectacularly romantic prose in high school by my girlfriend. To this day, I find her word smiting in a different category from us mere mortals, and consider myself lucky to be the recipient of such a talented (and pretty) young woman’s literary creativity.

While I was doing my stint in corporate America in the ‘90’s as a hack writer, I could write nothing but hack material and poetry. Today, however, I have a fondness for writing poetry because it is different than novel writing. When I finish a 100,000 word novel, my brain yearns to write something, anything, than speculative fiction. Sometimes, I write short stories set in a historical context. Sometimes, I’ll write something modern and romantic. Sometimes, I’ll even write a script.

Sometimes, I’ll even write a blog post. Ha, ha, ha.

How about you? Do you find yourself, in that occasional space between novel and editing, writing off the rails?


  1. I write blog posts mostly about writing.
    But also I've been putting Flash Fiction up on there too. The problem is coming up with concept for FF. It has to be something I can write in under 1000 words. Makes editing fun, trying to squeeze every last work out of there.

  2. I have written an ode or two in my day, and they were actually well received, but I have a hard time writing them other than sporadically. I feel that I am wasting my time.

  3. I enjoy writing poetry, even though my poems are trippy doggerel. I've tried to write deep, evokative, meaningful poems, with emotion and electricity threaded through every line... and they suck.

    My best poems are funny little ditties, throwaway stuff. It's a fun exercise, and a great break from prose.

  4. I don't write poetry per se, but I sometimes find myself writing fiction with an ear tuned to the sound of the language. And while I do think I should snap out of it and focus on content, I can't help myself. Must be the language lover in me. Still, though, in the end I have to say substance trumps style every time.


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