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Roby's avatar

Can one be a writer of short stories without supporting poetry?

Asked by Roby (2934 points ) May 29th, 2012

Some folks say poetry coincides with writing stories. Reading it, I find most of it drab. When I write it, it usually turns out like a bad country music song. But I really enjoy writing shorts stories. Bottom line is…Can I write short stories without expecting to turn out poetry as well?

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11 Answers

dabbler's avatar

Seems to me that poetry is a different specie from short stories.
I certainly experience them differently. Poetry seems to work with its timing much more than other written forms.

I’m not sure if “the market” expects short story writers to turn out poetry as well…. if so remind yourself that is some demand for bad country songs !

zenvelo's avatar

I have never seen a poem by Hemingway, Cheever, or Steinbeck.

I don’t know who the “some folks” who are saying that are, but I have never heard any kind of requirement or necessity that one must write poetry to be “qualified” to write short stories or anything else. It’s not like a publisher or editor is going to ask to see your poems before reading your story. Each piece stands on its own merits.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I’m not sure of the connection. Poetry is a form of literary output, and so are short stories (or for that matter, novellas or long fiction or various others.

One isn’t a prerequisite for another. In fact, one could argue that being a poet puts an an author in a negative mindset for writing prose fiction. Or for that matter, a short story writer needs different skills than a novel writer. And so on.

Therefore, I would say that short stories are not dependent on poetry skill (and vice versa)

marinelife's avatar

Certainly. There are many great collections of short stories that do not have any corresponding poetry.

wundayatta's avatar

No support of poetry is required. Feel free to write short stories all you want without thinking one whit about poetry.

Just be sure not to join the poets guild. They might shorten your sentence by a meter.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
gambitking's avatar

It’s not really about supporting anything, it’s what the end result is. Since you end up having a bit of rhythm and such by the end of your writing, maybe you could meld the two styles and just see how you feel about being a lyricist.

gailcalled's avatar

I amb really sick of bad puns.

Or a poet like Carl Sandburg or Walt Whitman.

Yeats, Auden and Frost never wrote any short stories.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Roby's avatar

OK thanks folks….you all were much help.

gailcalled's avatar

Curious that you can say “You were all not much help” but the positive version “You were all much help” sounds incorrect idiomatically.

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