Dancing on Format Road

You are at the keyboard ready to let your fingers fly. You can feel the poem, picture book or essay ready to spring forth. Minutes or hours later horror crosses your face. What is that thing on your computer screen? Your format has been high jacked. The piece in your mind does not even look like the distant cousin of your essay or poem.

That “thing” is a poem when it is supposed to be an essay or your charming picture book has spread across thousand words and is transforming into a middle grade novel. Don’t panic! Other writers have experienced this odd issue. Your creation is morphing and this maybe a blessing. Chances are the new format is actually ideal for the piece. Sometimes your instinct overrules your creative blueprint and require a detour.

Don’t believe this has happen to anyone else? I know an writer named Ellis. She wanted to write a picture book. Two drafts later, she brought it to her writers’ group. As they read it she explained that this was only the first half. They loved it and told her it was a great beginning of a middle grade novel. Ellis argued that it was not a novel, however, she couldn’t convince the group of this.  She said that she would consider letting it develop into a middle grade novel format. Ellis went onto use her “picture book” manuscript to create a middle grade trilogy.

Be brave! If your writing leads you from the path carefully created in your mind, be bold and dance down the road of a different format.

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