Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Just One More Page.
Today’s Musing Mondays post is about story format.
How do you feel about books written in a differing format – whether this be journals or letters (epistolary), verse novels, or any other form? Is this something you enjoy? Or do you prefer straight forward chapter prose.
I have to say, there are very few books that I read that aren’t in simple, straight-forward chapter prose.
For the most part, this is because it’s what I prefer. I like to just immerse myself in the story that an author has put on the page, following along as they have designed it. I love to read about characters and situations, and am generally less interested in the “format” side of things. I just want to absorb as much as possible as I read.
On the other hand, books that seem to be written in an alternative style just because tend to bother me. It usually just seems like the author was trying to find a gimmick, and it isn’t always pulled off very well. To be fair, it can be useful sometimes – such as when one of my students read a book last year that was written completely in verse, and it was the first novel that she finished since she was a little kid because it interested her. But in general, these kinds of books don’t do it for me.
The exception to this is when a book has a different format for a reason. I remember reading a book once where the first half was completely in the form of letters written by a teenage girl to everyone else in her life just before she committed suicide. The remainder of the novel was in the typical prose-story style as those people reacted to what she had written. That book made sense to be written in that way.