I have written various genres throughout my life. I've written lyrics for songs, poetry, short stories, essays, academic papers, screenplays, and finally I have written a novel.

Why do I sound like I am hinging everything as culminating activity toward the novel? because it's true. Everything writers write is only a smaller hill, mountain, to the eventual Mount Everest: the novel.

When I first began with lyrics, I learned the structure of a song. Most songs followed the same structure: (i.e., verse one, verse two, bridge, verse three, etc, and so forth). This song structure is not necessarily written in stone, but it's quite accurate enough to know when this structure was seen, it was a song, and whenever I wanted to write a song, I'd use the structure.

ONE MAJOR sonstress that I learned a lot from: Joni Mitchell

Then came poetry. Somewhat similar to lyrics, poetry had so many different structures depending on the type of poem. This is because poetry has been written since the beginning of recorded history, therefore, toward each generation, zeitgeist, historical events, etc., the poetry might have changed its structure to enhance the context of life at the time. So, there must be at least thirty or so types or forms of poetry one can use to express the content, depending on the message one is conveying or to display a historical feeling or whatever the content or subject of the poem ignites: (i.e. a sonnet would use a structure that calls for 14 lines. If an epic poem it had a different structure. If a Haiku, and so forth). Our most prevalent form today is no structure, called "freeform."
From old to new here: Keats, Arnold, Plath, & Frost:

In college I learned I couldn't just yak away on a paper. There were particular rules I had to follow, specifically that made it easier for academia to follow the reason for the writing; no fiction, like a story, but non-fiction, like a critique of a story or something other than fiction. Perhaps, for example, I want to write about the historical events going on during Shakespeare's reign (in writing). I would have rules in academia to follow how to write such an essay, and possible it could turn into a book about "Shakespeare Life and times" or something like that.

Short stories have always been fun to me, until I read articles that there were rules for them as well. It turned out I was writing more of a novelette, than short stories. My characters and the plot was too long to be short, and could confuse readers who might lose interest expecting to find a quick climax and ending. So I worked on this awhile.

Ray Bradbury

Screenplays are a bear to do! They are very much like a play, with directions for movement but of camera, instead of bodies, and close-ups, or full pan of an area, and so forth. It was kind of like whispering to someone sitting next to you while you watch a movie; it kind of takes a little romance out of it, which is why it takes a special kind of person. I like it, but I came to decide I would try a new direction because it seemed to work for the one quality I had: verbosity.

Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson SDCC 2014.jpg
Jackson at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International
BornPeter Robert Jackson
31 October 1961 (age 54)
WellingtonNew Zealand
Years active1976–present
Net worthNZ $600 million
Spouse(s)Fran Walsh (1987–present)

In fact, I went to law school for a year and STILL get joked about with my husband, remembering the first year with the Torts professor, when he wrote on my first case analysis: "You're verbose, and you drift..."  I will never forget that. However, instead of looking at it negatively for the rest of my life and throwing in the towel about writing at all, I took it to heart and decided I needed to work on this very thing, because I had a feeling it was my ticket to ride.

And it is, it was, and I believe even now, it is going to get better and better as I create all the characters, the plot and sub-plots, all the structure within my novels, starting with my first, "Taos: A novel." So, next month I will begin by my thoughts on articles I read that made me realize something special about novel-writing. I hope it helps you, too.


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