Not limited to novels either :)

I had a blast participating in last month’s blog chain from Teens Can Write, Too (because it gave me something to blog about besides my boring personal life and cute animals).  This month, I and several other gifted youngsters are discussing this question:

“What are your thoughts on reading or writing books in non-novel formats? Are there any you’ve particularly enjoyed?”

I thought I’d start with reading books in non-novel formats.  I’d like to think of myself as pretty open-minded about getting into books with unorthodox formats (as opposed to unorthodox content), so long as they flow well and make sense.

An online writing buddy of mine, Kylie, introduced me to the art of verse-novels, which use poetry to convey the events of each chapter.  Pretty neat, huh?  I’d love to write one sometime, but it’s hard enough getting my words to make sense when they don’t follow a pattern! 😀

Also, good friend of mine lent me The Complete Works of Shakespeare, and I got started on reading Twelfth Night.  I don’t read much Shakespeare, or many plays for that matter.  Fact of the matter is, while I see why I hadn’t voluntarily picked up a Shakespeare work until now, I’m glad I finally did – this one is quite good!

Another online friend wrote a great (but alas, unfinished) novel adaptation of the play, which I’d been reading before starting the original play.  Picking up where she left off in the original play has been a breeze!  I’m able to follow the story, despite the unfamiliar format and the artistically garbled language (sorry, purists).  I’m also getting a lot of the humor, which pleasantly surprises me.


Now to writing non-novel books.

There are times when I’m trying to just sit down and write a good old chapter book (I can hardly call anything I’ve written a real, novel-length book), but nothing’s flowing.  The right adjectives and descriptive phrases just aren’t coming to me, and I’m doing more telling than showing.  I’m great with dialogue, though, but nobody likes a dialogue-heavy book.  At least, none of my beta-readers *cough* family members *cough* can handle my more dialogue-heavy works.

But you know where lots of dialogue and minimal details (none of that “he wailed plaintively” or “torrents of raindrops beat cruelly upon my head” stuff we like to read in books) actually work?  Scripts!

I’ve achieved great results while porting these problem-case, novel-wannabes into script format.  I went from writing this stilted, epic fail of a humor story to what I think is a great sci-fi-comedy fanfilm script.  (And this may sound like a shameless plug, but I’ve been working on making said fanfilm script into an actual animated movie – 75% singlehandedly!  Stay tuned for more news on that in the hopefully near future….)


Long story short, I’ve enjoyed the non-novel books/stories I’ve had exposure to, and sometimes, thinking outside the box when it comes to writing stories of my own has actually saved stories I was otherwise going to crumple up and/or shelf (depending on how developed they were at the time of my decision to quit).

And that’s that!  See ya next month with another edition of the Teens Can Write, Too! blog chain. 😉

Check out the other bloggers who took part in this month’s chain!

(Disclaimer: Allison the Writer is not responsible for the content in these other websites.  As always, please browse responsibly.)

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One thought on “Not limited to novels either :)

  1. Heather says:

    My lit class has had a few plays as well; I really enjoyed Othello, surprisingly. 🙂 I haven’t tried writing many unorthodox formats, yet, but it’s good to see you’ve been experimenting! 😀


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