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Storytelling in Verse: A Study in Pink.

Odd title for a poem, is it not?

Let me explain.

A Study in Pink is the title of a poem yet to be written. I purpose to write it by committee. This means workshop. I am preparing a workshop for Storytelling in Verse where I will invite ten (no more than) poets to join me in writing what I have decided will by a horror/murder mystery (this is a monarchy after all. Some decisions are mine to make). Without going into much detail as this is still in the formative stages the participants will be asked to write a four line stanza in iambic pentameter to progress the story, then when their turn comes around again to repeat the process until we have told a complete and cohesive tale.

I choose iambic pentameter as it is the simplest and most common of meters. We will be writing what I hope will look and feel like a traditional poem. The rhyme scheme (it will rhyme) will be up to the individual poet.

However, the story will be paramount.

In the beginning each participant will create a single character for the poem whose personality will also be up to the poet. Other characters will be created as the poem requires.

Do not allow me to misrepresent. I believe this is possibly the most ambitious workshop yet attempted at NeoPoet. It will offer a distinct challenge to the participants. I do not say this to chase you off, but it will require a commitment of time and effort not common to workshops. This will not be a casual endeavor.

I invite all NeoPoet members to consider if they would like to be involved in what I feel will be a fascinating and challenging workshop.

I also invite everyone to PM me with their thoughts concerning such a thing (please tell me why this won’t work). The idea is fresh and not yet fleshed out, so there is amble time to offer your negative considerations (those are the ones I want. I already know the positive).
You have a fair amount of time as I won’t consider beginning until Renga and Form are complete. In about a month’s time or more depending on how many bugs need worked out.

Please consider joining me.
More information will be forthcoming.

Comments

This sounds interesting. My part will be a cantankerous policeman who's heard it all before.
As to the shop itself, have you considered there are rhyme patterns which extend beyond 4 lines and the effect this might have on the poem? On the positive side a 5-6 line rhyme pattern could give more "space" in the event a lot of info needs to be conveyed in one stanza.................stan

The thought of the workshop is intriguing, but not enough. Same usual cop outs from me. No time. No time. Oh, yeah, no time. And then there's that whole trying to get along with others thing.

Scott

Scott

we are supposed to say if we want to join?
If yes, please consider me (with all the responsibilities I have) in, will you please, sir?

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me
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He's just gathering feed back on the idea right now. You'll know he's ready to take on participants when he has a syllabus in place.............stan

Not yet. I need more data. Stan, I was thinking of the four line stanza with any rhyme scheme they choose as the simplest way to get a traditional poem written. The story will be the crux. I did however think of using five for your reasons... to give them a little more wiggle room to get their point across, but I think I have that covered. I'm going to allow everyone three extra stanzas to use at any time. So if you need more room you could write two stanzas in a row and still have two saved. What do you think? Too complicated? This is going to be complex, so I want to keep things simple where I can.
Sorry to hear you're too busy Scott. You would have been fun. But I understand and it will be a large commitment.
Rula, you're already in. You're moderating whether you like it or not. Send others to the blog, so I can get more data... more data... more data...

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

Considering that a lot of the participants might not use rhyming forms on a regular basis, I think your idea about having extra stanzas in reserve might well be better than having a predominantly free verse writer try to use a 5-6 line rhyme pattern..........stan

Because I don't have enough challenges...if you give me a refresher class, I will be happy to call the Raven out of exile to contribute.

Keep Writing,
Carrie

"Quoth said the Raven, NEVERMORE"

An iambic foot is an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.

The rhythm can be written as:
da DUM.

The da-DUM of a human heartbeat is the most common example of this rhythm.

A standard line of iambic pentameter is five iambic feet in a row:
da DUM da DUM da DUM da DUM da DUM.
(The light is bright and shines into my room.)
Or something like this..
Hope this helps young Lady.
Yours Ian.T

.
There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

Thank you Ian...I have to dust off my skills. The Raven has been silent for a while.

Keep Writing,
Carrie

"Quoth said the Raven, NEVERMORE"

I always struggle with this form of writing I seem to become irritated with it thinking it cramps my normal free writes into boxes lol,
Good luck with your new ventures, Yours Ian.T

.
There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

this may be easy for others but to tell the truth, I'm still struggling with it. This is good for practice. However, where time is concern, I do worry that I can't give it my all due to the limited time I can spare. Still, I won't say that it is a bad idea. We do need a workshop like this to challenge ourselves.

aLID

A stranger comes to town, a female stranger, with a dark aura about her, perhaps she has a male partner or accomplice either with her, already there or will arrive later...she is charming, inviting and seductive...a recipe for disaster, for the unsuspecting. ...

Keep Writing,
Carrie

"Quoth said the Raven, NEVERMORE"

A poetry site official angers a member so badly that said member tracks him down for revenge.......Bwa ha ha.......stan

I like that!!!!

Keep Writing,
Carrie

"Quoth said the Raven, NEVERMORE"

What is the statute of limitation on murder? Might have to wait until then.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

Although I would limit it to a maximum of ten participants, the minimum is also important. If I don't have at least six interested I will not attempt the shop. The favor I will ask then is this: if anyone truly thinks this would be challenging and fun could you suggest it to another? As I have said, I'm not sure this can be done, but I would like very much to try. At the very least the attempt could work the bugs out for a later attempt. If it could be made to work it might be fun to make it an annual event, but I get ahead of myself.
Thank you for considering it.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

little doubt that it could work. It's basically a round robin type thing. Only difference is the subject won't change and the form stays the same. Since a number of people never write rhyme in any form it might be best not to limit the meter..............Of course this depends on what you want to achieve. Do you want to bring in folks who mainly write free verse to make them more comfortable with rhyme or is this mainly a meter exercise for those who already write in rhyme?........stan

I'm afraid that not many are in favor of the strict iambic and structured poetry if we exclude Stan, scott and myself. Ian might like to join too.

Let me think loud and say why don't we bring everyone's effort and make use of Stan's recent workshop, so who is in favor of free form can join and make the morphing required in the right place

What you say?

I know you don't like it :)

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me
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I like this because I am a free form writer. I would like to put some stuff up and have it tweaked so it can be morphed into iambic pentameter or left as free form. Even if no one else is interested, I am interested in collaborating...what do you say, Wesley? ?

Keep Writing,
Carrie

"Quoth said the Raven, NEVERMORE"

I will join your venture, but will need an assist in the final layout, Yours Ian.T

.
There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

was for The Committee to write what looked and felt like a traditional poem. I tend to want to shy from free form for one reason only- it often "morphs" into what might be termed prose. This would be an even greater problem for a story. If I could determine a preset length of line (not too short, not too long) and everyone hold to it I might consider it. However, I still want the poem to rhyme. Actually I was never going to hold strictly to iambic pentameter, but rather allow some leeway. The "rhythm" of the poem would be paramount.
Glad for your interest Ian. You've told some stories in your day, so you would be a welcome addition.
Also, I'm leaning toward the stanza being an octet (eight lines) and offer the participant two in a row. I would still give each poet three "free" stanzas as explained above in case they need a little more space to tell their part of the story.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

When do we begin work on this

Keep Writing,
Carrie

"Quoth said the Raven, NEVERMORE"

It may be as much as three or four weeks. At least as long as Renga and Form are active I won't start. Also, I won't start until I have at least six poets interested. A minimum of six and a maximum of ten.
Now I'm leaning towards octets (eight line stanzas) to give everyone more room to flesh out an idea. I will also likely make it one or two octets, poet's choice.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

To think about it....I have some ideas...but not sure of how well they will be received by the majority. I do horror and murder quite well, but as we all know, I am not one of the critic's favorites. My aversion to structured writing often makes things difficult and hard to read. It makes me want to tear my hair out when trying to write that way but worth a try. So you are looking for eight line stanzas of iambic pentameter...this should be interesting...

Keep Writing,
Carrie

"Quoth said the Raven, NEVERMORE"

need to start thinking about a title Wes. The right title will give folks a good starting point.........stan

I reserve the right to title the story (A Study in Pink... a take on Sherlock Holmes) and begin the tale. Everyone will start by creating one character within the confines of character "types" I will list. My character is the first victim. Why "pink" will be made clear in my first stanza. How's that for being on the ball? If you can think of a descriptive sub title do so. Something that describes the nature of the shop would be helpful, but "A Study in Pink" (hint... blood) is the working title. As the story progresses that too is up for revision by "The Committee" as is everything else.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

May I create the killer? ?? Now that the title is clear, I have more ideas. Are you going to be writing in the first person, as if you were the victim?

Keep Writing,
Carrie

"Quoth said the Raven, NEVERMORE"

To begin with we each create a character. If I have ten participants there will be ten principal characters created at the beginning (more will be created as the story demands). Any one of them (or more) could be the killer. As it stands now (just for fun) here is the list of character types with little description.
Characters one and two are detectives for Scotland Yard (I'm leaning toward 19th century London... my decision).
Characters three, four and five are suspects (everyone is a suspect, but these are designed to look like they may have done the deed).
Characters six and seven are witnesses (one connected... meaning the person was directly involved with the killing, not necessarily responsible and one unconnected... meaning the victim, witness and killer did not know they were there. At the beginning no one knows anything about them except the writers).
Characters eight and nine are the antagonist (a person who has reason to keep the investigation from going forward) and the protagonist (someone who has reasons... political, economic whatever... for the investigation to be concluded).
Character ten is a grab bag. The last character should be something of wrench to the whole process and so their creation is "up for grabs". It could be the crazy drunk who turns out to be an amateur detective, or The Queen or a monster (literally) or... get the picture?
Right now I think everyone will be assigned a character type to create according to the order in which they sign up. That may change, but regardless... no one knows who the killer is. EVERYONE is suspect, even our detectives who may work together or be at odds with one another.
The point is nothing is decided until the writing starts.
The only character already assigned is the first victim and he is mine. I will also begin the poem to set the mood then cut everyone loose a couple of stanzas at a time.
If a stanza finishes a scene the next poet can "cut" to another. If the stanza is not finished (more or less) the next poet will be required to continue the scene.
No one will create any one thing. It is a poem by committee (my wife says anything done by committee is doomed). We'll see.
Also I'm going to insist that no real life personage is used as a principal character. However, cameos are welcome. I thought I would have Sherlock slipped by. The only real person allowed (because she is so "big" is The Queen Victoria, Empress of India).
One more thing. None of these character types are of my creation. They are standard to the genre of which I am a fan (Doyle, Christie and Queen are my favorites).
Hopefully the killer turns out to be (in true mystery fashion) to be the one we least suspect.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

I like where this is going. I happened to look up some medieval occupations so that I could try to form my character better. This could be fun :) The site is bookmarked on my tablet. Will have to start thinking at night instead of falling asleep so blasted early......

Keep Writing,
Carrie

"Quoth said the Raven, NEVERMORE"

I have to read some Sharlock Holmes. Such adventures never attracted my attention, unfortunately. And what might make it worse is that my imagination doesn't travel wide.
Any recommendations?

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me
www.instgram.com/rularules1

Storytelling is storytelling. The format will lead us (I hope).

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

I am driven by true crime scenarios, was never much into Sherlock Holmes myself. Stories take us wherever we want to go, that is the fun/challenge of it....

Keep Writing,
Carrie

"Quoth said the Raven, NEVERMORE"

surroundings here. I love to live in peace.
Even if I were in Palestine, with all the crimes committed there daily, I'm sure I wouldn't give Sharlock Holmes a real challenge.

Anyways, I am really excited. Wesley has always been successful to bring up some excitement to my pen.

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me
www.instgram.com/rularules1

Allowing variable rhyme patterns might help those unfamiliar with rhyme without sacrificing the overall rhyme of the piece..........stan

I am all for using free verse and working on rhyme...for someone like me who has trouble counting syllables, that would work best.

Keep Writing,
Carrie

"Quoth said the Raven, NEVERMORE"

It will be up to poet how to rhyme the poem, but you're right about limiting the meter. I may let that go. Part of the reason I wanted a meter at all was to make the poem more uniform. I need more opinions of the potential participants. What say you guys? Should I make the meter up to the poet or use a loose iambic pentameter?

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

Loose meter, please. I do my best writing when I don't have to try to count syllables and change wording 2 fit it..I seem to lose what I am trying to say when that happens...

Keep Writing,
Carrie

"Quoth said the Raven, NEVERMORE"

are actually some different meters that work well together. So as long as things don't stumble badly this might well be the first shop here which will deal with what I think the future of poetry is evolving to : a mixture of the best of both rhyme and free verse in which rhyme is used for easier recollection but meter varies thus allowing more freedom in conveying what a poet wants............stan

Stan...we may see some great writing when the mind is allowed to create without limits...writers may be less frustrated and that will increase participation.

Keep Writing,
Carrie

"Quoth said the Raven, NEVERMORE"

Here we are then. Each poet will post two octets (eight lines of poetry) when their turn comes around again and again. Sixteen lines of poetry at a turn should give plenty of room to progress the poem. The meter will be up to the poet, but they will be asked to write each line with between ten and sixteen syllables. This is so we can create some uniformity in the poem
The rhyme scheme is also up to the poet, BUT as I want to produce a poem that looks, feels, smells and sounds like a somewhat traditional poem it MUST rhyme. They can use couplets, alternating, envelope (abba) or even something relatively unfamiliar like initial rhyme (rhyme at the beginning of the line) or internal rhyme (a rhyme in the middle of a line).
Also, the rhyme needn't be strictly authentic. Near rhymes, assonance and alliteration is acceptable.
The killer must not be revealed until near the end which by that time it will probably be obvious. It is a mystery after all.
Now a favor. Can everyone who has been on this thread find one other poet (who is not on the thread) and ask them to read this blog? It is not because I want to drum up participation (okay, maybe a little), but rather to garner as much feedback, suggestions and complaints as I can.
This idea has a plethora of bugs to work out and I would welcome help from the entire site (regardless of whether or not they join the workshop.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

On my first character.....need something to do....

Keep Writing,
Carrie

"Quoth said the Raven, NEVERMORE"

we needn't make it too long nor too short ( two rounds or maybe three at max). so that no one will feel like drifted away or bored. If it gets too long, some will lose the required excitement, I am afraid.

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me
www.instgram.com/rularules1

I will have to drive everyone to move the story forward. We begin with an exposition. Introduce characters. Then work through the complication of solving the murder. A climax and resolve it. Too much wandering and we lose everyone's attention. Too little and the poem has no substance. Probably more than four rounds though. And I want them to be quick. Not a lot of time spent on analysis. More on actual writing.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

One of the reasons I wrote the blog was to get feedback on whether or not a workshop like this could work.
At present I don't think so. The difficulties involved are too extensive to even list.
However, that does not mean I am giving up on it.
I won't attempt this right away, but my present thinking is that I will try the shop on an experimental level. A bunch of poets getting together giving a go to see if it could work out. In this way I believe that numerous bugs could come to the fore and be discussed without actually running a workshop with hopes of success.
In other words instead of poets learning how to write a particular type of poetry outside their comfort zone, the purpose would be to work a particular form of workshop to see if it could be organized in such a way as to make an attempt in earnest at a later date.
What think you my friends? Could I entice enough of you to join me in this experiment knowing it may fail miserably?
I think the idea is sound, but the Devil is in the details.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

In if you want me

Keep Writing,
Carrie

"Quoth said the Raven, NEVERMORE"

I think, are over thinking it. What you are proposing is basically a round robin poem. The only difference is that the story line is already semi-set and the poetic form is roughly set. In a true shop setting having the variation in meter could actually be useful by showing the differences in meters. I guess that could be done by having either the writer or shop leaded identify the meter as each segment is posted. .........stan

I see so many problems with the format it is discouraging. Still, I would love to do it. Who knows... we might publish the tale and pay some bills at NeoPoet.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

CERTAINLY a good idea.

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me
www.instgram.com/rularules1

SO, I'd say yes to whatever you decide. :)

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me
www.instgram.com/rularules1

Stan suggested we try it in a blog format. What do all of you think?

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

When do we begin?

Keep Writing,
Carrie

"Quoth said the Raven, NEVERMORE"

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