Every piece of prose should be a poem

Every piece of prose should be a poem.

I've just reread the piece I'm writing for my bookchat post in the Hastings Online Times tomorrow and I like the way it flows. It's about flash fiction. Stops and starts with satisfying rhythms. As I change it to make it better - that's what I'm trying to do. Yes, I'm putting in a new piece of information or a new idea but I'm trying to insert them in a way that makes the piece a pleasure to read/ listen to/ or to speak out loud. Even if I don't succeed (and I never do totally succeed) at least I know what I'm aiming for. And I'm enjoying writing.

No wonder Audible is doing so well - and all those stories that work when they are read out loud. Back to the beginning, I say. That's how our stories started and actually, it's how they are represented in the brain. When we read, no matter how fast, we produce an audible signal for each word. Even deaf people do that and if we haven't got an audible signal for something then we can't include it. Can't integrate or make sense of it.

And don't get me started on rhythms. If you can get your readers to synchronise with your beat then you are together. Hearts beating as one. Literally.

I want my writing to be easy to read and to sound good. I want it to be comfortable most of the time but jolty every so often. I want it to give pleasure. I want it to linger and unfold. Probably won't get there but I'll keep trying. Every piece of prose should be a poem. Even a novel. Especially a novel. What do you think? I wonder who you are and what you're thinking while you read this.

The danger is that you can get so carried away with the sound and the rhythms that you lose the meaning. Imagine a woman sitting on her doorstep wailing a song. No words. Just sounds. Words long gone so definitely a shape of something but you can't listen forever (although she might go on singing long after you've passed by).

We're back to form vs content but ideally you shouldn't be aware of either. You should be lost with me. We should be lost together.

I still think that every piece of prose should be a poem.


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