Using Verse To Deepen Your Characters

I made an amazing discovery!

I found a new writing tool. When reading the latest draft of my middle-grade fantasy I found my main character still needed more depth. In a quandary, I played solitaire, perused Verla Kay’s boards, Facebook, writer blogs, and returned to my draft with no new inspiration.

Until, I played around and wrote a few pages of verse from the POV of my main character. Now, I know I talk about verse a whole lot for someone who loves to write fantasy, but I find studying the tight writing, line breaks, and use of white space so inspirational. Sydney (my antagonist) was annoyed along with me and she screamed, “HEAR ME.”

So I wrote, and listened—harder. After a few pages of writing verse with Sydney, she came in loud and clear.

WOW, I thought. Who knew?

No, for real, I wondered, does anyone else know about this tool? Probably, but I’m all about sharing. I live for those “AHA” moments when things click into place. So now, when I’m in a scene and need to dig deeper to find out what emotions are churning inside any character, I write a page or two in verse.

Below is some of the verse I wrote when I had the epiphany and now they have found a home in the opening of my first chapter.

Everyone leaves,
in the end.

And, each time
a little piece of me
with them.

I wonder if
someday, there'll be nothing
of me


  1. That's really good Paula. I love your verse. And what a great technique to cut unnecessary words. Thanks for the idea!

  2. Great idea, Paula. I'll definitely try to use it as I dig into Maya's character a little deeper. I like your verse too--seems to help us understand Syd a little better.

  3. Love your verse, Paula! I'm going to try it too!

  4. GREAT!! I'll be anxious to see how it works out for you all.

    Afterwards, come back and post an excerpt of your verse.


  5. Paula, That's a great idea! My WIP is my first time writing massive amounts of 1st person POV. This is just what I need!

  6. Excellent idea! I love your verses, thanks for sharing.

  7. HI Paula, My first visit to your blog and I'm glad I stopped by. Thanks for the verse reminder--you were so inspirational at our retreat. Susan

  8. Yay, Susan. So glad to see you here. Thanks for coming by.


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