Plot idea and three verses

Courage - Part 1

The more astute reader will notice how I’ve phrased the opening question.

If I had used a heading like, ‘Is it good to attempt poetry?’ it wouldn’t have the same effect. My aim is to prove that poetry can work for writers – of all levels.


As always, please remember that any definitions or comments given in my posts are my own unless otherwise stated.

What is a poem?

1. A poem is a piece of creative writing which is usually broken into bite-sized chunks.

2. The bite-sized chunks are called verses, or stanzas.

3. The stanzas might rhyme at the end of each line, or each alternative line, or not at all. Don’t worry, we’re not going to delve into the details or different types. It’s not a poetry lesson.

4. A poem is creative and therefore is usually descriptive. In other words, it’s like telling a story, but in short bursts.

5. It can be done in as few or as many short bursts, (verses, or stanzas), as you please.

How can a writer use a poem as an aid?

Unlike a short story idea which might take a few attempts to get started, a poem takes very little effort, and it doesn’t have to rhyme.

Try creating a beginning, a middle and an end. Three stanzas of four lines each; no more, no less. An example?

‘A Fighter Pilot’s Day’


Jack took off in his plane

a fighter in the air

He’d be shot at once again

at fear again he’d stare


The ‘dog-fight’ was Jack’s worst

his craft was torn apart

Damaged by a burst

of bullets at the start


Landing would be hard

to miss the town he’d try

A field was Jack’s last card

he accepted he would die


That just took me less than ten minutes. I believe that those three simple verses could be developed into a credible short story.

In this short series, I aim to prove my point, that poetry is indeed a good thing for a writer to attempt. I hope you’ll come along on the journey, and remember, we’ll all get more out of the journey if we travel together.

Don’t just think a response – write it as a comment for the rest of us.

4 thoughts on “Plot idea and three verses”

  1. When I was in high school, I wrote a story for French class (in French 🙂 — that was then ) based on Walter de la Mare’s poem “The Listeners”. I’ve always loved poetry that told stories, and do impromptu cautionary verse (first for my son, now for my granddaughter) all the time, rather than just saying that’s not safe, but I never thought of writing the poem to delineate the plots for my stories. Cool idea. Have one book I’m stuck on right now–started it because I wanted to play with the characters, but didn’t really have a specific place in mind for the story to go, although a general and vague idea where I wanted it to end. I’ll go back and revisit it, and try developing the story with a poem and see where the middle verse(s) lead me. 🙂 Thanks for a great idea, Tom!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. nifty idea, Tom – esp liked # 4: “A poem is creative, and therefore is usually descriptive. In other words, it’s like telling a story, but in short bursts.”

    i’ve written poetry since the early 80s, a few have been stories, but my practice of prose poems evolved into more of defining moments rather than the story itself – still i think your method & idea are pretty neat, nice post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello and thank you for dropping by Felipe. It’s not something I do often these days, but in moments when it’s proving difficult to come up with an idea that appeals I do sit and write a few rhyming lines to see what comes up. It does actually work:)

      Liked by 1 person

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