Poetry and including poems in our writing is one of those interesting literary devices that is either loved or hated by both the writer and the reader.
As a writer, I myself love a bit of poetry here and there. The chance to break away from writing my story and have a little fun jotting down a few rhymes is always a welcome break to the slow plod that is often storytelling. However, I have often wondered if readers love it just as much? Or would they simply skim over it and continue on reading the story?
From reading and studying how other writers uses poetry in their writing, I have decided that the best way to include poetry in your writings is to make sure it is part of the story. That it adds to the story and does not distract from what you are writing. No useless poetry is the best way to go!
But how do you do that? Here are some ideas on how to use poetry effectively in writing:
1. Create a mood using the poetry (romantic, hopeful, sorrowful, epic…)
2. Help with world building (Does this culture you are writing about have a poetry or storytelling tradition?)
3. Character development (Wow! No one knew that Sebastian had such a poetic tongue when he found himself in danger… 🙂 )
4. Bring in a bit of history or style to help with historical fiction
5. Use as a plot device
6. Add a romantic or cultured edge for a character or to the story
7. Jog your readers (and characters!) memories
8. Continue a story after it has ended. (And everyone said from then on that….)
9. Let it bring in bit of humor or silly fun (appropriate to your story of course)
How about you? Do you love or hate poetry in stories? How are you including poetry into your latest writing project?