Post by ScintillaMyntan on Apr 3, 2021 22:50:28 GMT -6
Have you ever had to make tough decisions about the form of a piece? Length is one matter. How do you know whether your story idea is a short story or a novel, and is it important to have an idea how long your story will be when you begin?
But there are further choices to make. Is this idea going to be a book or a screenplay? An actiony crime drama or a thoughtful literary piece about a crime? A children's story or a grown-ups' one? And for poetry, there's a lot to be decided in terms of form. Have you ever had a conflict like this as a writer? Or maybe started with one form and tried to switch to another?
For myself currently, story ideas are short stories by default; I just generally don't have the attention span or the writing ability for a novel. The two ideas I do have for longer forms are plots that simply couldn't be written from beginning to end in a couple thousand words: one in its essence involves changes in a character, the other changes in a society, and neither is going to happen quickly. And the latter is my main daydream setting, so if anything, I'd have more attention span for it than I ought.
Other than length, I think the only interesting form decision I've made was whether a certain story should take itself seriously. It had a rather outlandish premise, and between revisions I wavered between making it totally caught up in itself as this tense drama written in formal language, and writing it in a more 'outside' way, making it aware of its absurdity. When the former got critiqued, I think people couldn't tell whether it was meant to be satirical or not. Actually I'm not sure myself.
This question comes to mind because I have an idea for the poetry contest and two 'key' lines written, but I can see a couple of ways to go with it. One option is a short piece that just conveys the idea and would feel more light or understated; the other is a longer, more complex piece that examines and builds up to the idea and makes it feel final and heavy. And that's still without having decided whether this is going to rhyme or not, and whether to repeat one of the key lines every stanza, and so on. I don't think I've had this problem before, and I think that's because I usually think of poetic form as being part of my idea for a poem, not something I have to decide on once I already have the idea. But in this case, I can really see both options making use of my idea in a different way.