Some thoughts on organizing a manuscript--for Soham

I like to think of a poetry book as a single entity--use any metaphor you want to describe this.

There are a number of ways I've described my poetry manuscript organization principles:

One way I've described the process is to compare it to preparing and hanging paintings for a gallery--generally paintings of a period or of a particular tone by a single artist will be placed together. The things to consider when hanging paintings in a gallery--cohesion, balance, wall size, the layout of the gallery. Some paintings should not be hung on the gallery's biggest walls. Some paintings are used to bring gallery patrons closer to the headliner painting of the exhibit.

Here's another way--think about structuring a poetry manuscript like you're structuring a pop song. You'll get some variation within the verses, then you get a chorus (or a structural component), and then a bridge (which can either refute or enforce the prior structure), then a return to the verse and chorus structure.

Mind you, these are suggestions and are ways that I, personally, have structured my manuscripts in the past.


Oliver de la Paz