#1- More Interesting Description
I read a book last year which had me quoting it all over Facebook for a while now. The name of that book is “The Judging Eye-The Aspect Emperor Book 1″ By R. Scott Bakker. I did not buy this book nor did I steal it. It was given to me after the award ceremony of The Allen Prize for Young Writers. They had books in boxes and we were told that we can just pick and take. I honestly picked it up because the cover was interesting.
When I began reading it, I immediately fell in love with the writer’s style. He has a beautiful descriptive metaphorical way about his writing which captivated me. It reminded me of poetry really. Here’s an excerpt
“There would have been nightmares aplenty had Drusas Achamian been able to dream a life that was his own. Nightmares of a long, hard war across deserts and great river deltas. Nightmares of sublimity and savagery held in perfect equipoise, though the cacophony of the latter would make all seem like misery. Nightmares of dead men, feeding like cannibals on their once strong souls, raising the impossible on the back of atrocity.”
The description really comes alive but more than just that, when reading I couldn’t help but smile at the writer’s skill with words. Especially at that last part. I could not simply skim through this book like I do with some novels. I slowly savoured every sentence like poetry. Like every line and every word had its place and purpose. This is masterful writing.
#2- Creating folklore, culture, songs, poetry and anything else to spice up the setting
When writing a novel, the setting is very important and every good writer knows that the setting must be rich and alive. Sometimes a song by a bard in a bar might make things interesting, or a poem in a book that the main character picks up might shed light on the plot. Perhaps a riddle to get past something, all these are excellent places for an author to showcase his or her ability to write poetry and further amaze the reader.
“Her skin was rough as brick
Her legs were made of rope
Her gut was plenty thick
And her teeth were soft as soap.
But her peach was cast in gold.
Aye! No! Aye!
T’were her peach that had me sold!”
Here, the writer brings the scene to life! this scene is of a camp of hunters merry making before going out to hunt. They sang that as they were merry making. I’m sure you were almost as amused as I was when reading the poem. Imagine how amused the first readers would be while going through the novel and coming across this passage. The author could have easily said “And I heard them sing songs as they were merrymaking before what could be their last hunt” or something of that sort. But he brought it to life in a beautiful, artistic and humorous way by using poetry.
# 3- In those little introductory statements and ideas before chapters, books and sections.
“Litte snake, what poison in your bite!
Little snake, what fear you should strike!
But they don’t know, little snake–oh no!
They can’t see the tiny places you go…”
-ZEUMI NURSERY SONG
Here, the writer uses this little verse to convey an idea which is expressed through the following chapter. It was written at the top and given a context (Zeumi Nursery Song). The poem sets the reader up for the theme of the chapter and its ensuing events. This is a common practice. Many writers tend to prelude their books with a witty saying, a relevant quote or a short poem. This is a great time to showcase those poetry skills and show those readers how diverse of a writer you are!
Many novel writers have started off in poetry then abandoned the art to move to fiction. It is more lucrative, and it allows the imagination to go to places far beyond poetry. However, poetry can still be an excellent way to spice up that story or novel. Include some poetry in your story today!
How else can poetry improve novel writing? let me know below!