Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Wednesday Writing Workout: Poetry vs. Prose

Today I'm sharing a Wednesday Writing Workout (WWW) from Laurie Wallmark as a follow-up to my guest TeachingAuthor interview with her last week.

Laurie's WWW is related to her picture book Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code, illustrated by Katy Wu (Sterling Children's Books).

Laurie shared the following "behind the scenes" information about the writing of Grace Hopper:
"I originally wrote my Grace Hopper book in verse. The poem on the front end pages was one of these poems."
I included the poem Laurie is referring to in Friday's post. Here it is again, in case you missed it:

Laurie told me that when her Grace Hopper story didn’t work in verse, she switched to prose. That leads to today's Wednesday Writing Workout.

Wednesday Writing Workout: Poetry vs. Prose
by Laurie Wallmark

(Note: this exercise is addressed to classroom teachers, but writers can apply the same exercise to their own work.)

An interesting writing exercise for your students might be to have them write a poem about something that they did or that happened to them. This could be anything from sports to playing with a baby sister, singing on stage to being unfairly punished. Then, have them rewrite the same incident in prose. Here are some questions for the class to discuss after finishing the exercise:

  • Which was easier to write—verse or prose. Why?
  • Which used more words? Why do they think this was the case?
  • Which told the story better?
  • Which method allowed more emotional depth for the story?
  • Did everyone have the same answers for the above questions?
If you'd like to get an inside peek at the work that went into the illustrations for Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code, see this interview with illustrator Katy Wu.

And if you haven't entered our giveaway of Laurie and Katy's newest book, Hedy Lamarr's Double Life: Hollywood Legend and Brilliant Inventor, you can do so on Friday's post.

Finally, remember to always Write with Joy!


Linda said...

This is a wonderful exercise for writers of all ages!

Carmela Martino said...

Thanks, Linda!