Form

I’ve been stuck for a while on what form my Knight’s Tale is going to take. I’ve spent the last few years generally knowing the form before the content and it’s how I best like to work. Once I know the form the writing flows. I wouldn’t normally agonise this much but as it’s the first tale and the original was quite conventional, I want to make it a little bit formal. I’ve shied away from blank verse ‘cos it’s not flamboyant enough for a drag queen. But I’ve also shied away from heroic couplets: the tale will be quite long and whilst Chaucer could get away with it i.e. he was the first to use it extensively, I don’t think I can. I’m toying with the idea of iambic pentametre rhyming (abab) with the ‘a’ line being hypercatalectic i.e. one syllable longer. I keep thinking I’ve read something recently that uses it so if anyone out there knows, let me know. It has the ballad, storytelling feel yet maintains a level of formality. I’ll use quite a few near rhymes too to give it texture. At the moment it feels right. I now feel I might be able to write the 50-word biog for Queen of the Castle (for the Parson’s Tale it felt essential to write the biog before the tale: in this case I have a sense of the character and some lines – all in my head). I wrote morning pages (one evening!) last week but didn’t write any of the tale. I needed my computer. It felt sad being so dependent on modern technology, I used to love the act of writing, the physical feel guiding the pen, of creating something tangible. Now I enjoy the fact that any old drivel can look as if it’s published. Very dangerous for the drafting process. At any one sitting I might get through two or three drafts before printing it off and calling it Draft 1. It seems such a waste of paper to print off every draft, especially when I might be reworking a particular quatrain as opposed to going through the whole poem and making changes.

Amy Riley from the Arts Council is writing a case study on Roving Mic for their website. It was good to give her some feedback, reminding me of the wonderful opportunity before me and that I need to get a move on and write on the computer (as opposed to ‘writing’ in my head). The problem with me writing in my head is I write ten words and delete twelve. Also, it reminded me to touch base with this blog. The holiday was great (and I did actually read Part 1 of The Knight’s Tale in the original) but I’ve got out of the writing habit. Also, a few personal things have infringed, a couple too big to ignore but they must firmly be kept in their place when I sit down to write. Thinking about it, maybe morning pages will help at this stage to get rid of the chaff as the parson would say. I wish I could commit to rising half an hour earlier but this is already happening as both children seem to think British Sumertime means sleeping an hour less every night and rising at six. I don’t do six o’clock unless it means going to bed at nine in the evening (or preferably nine in the morning for an early siesta). Going to bed at nine in the evening would mean I wouldn’t have an evening. Anyway, it feels good writing this and as I’ve had a really frustrating day (and now wish I’d committed to writing all day rather than doing house stuff) I’m going to sign off now and eat, and later curl up with some poetry, preferably in i.p (abab).

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