Unique forms of literature you’ve never heard of

Until today! You aren’t just limited to a novel, play, poem or short story. These are genuine literary forms which you, as a writer, can explore as a writer and can broaden your horizons. After all, you want to see which is your style, right? Here are three of the best…

1. Vignettes

I have briefly mentioned these in ’30 facets of scenes in fiction’. They are short, impressionistic sketches and may occur in either postmodern theatre or in a collection. Margaret Atwood’s collection Murder in the Dark and Angela Cater’s ‘The Snow Child’ are vignettes. They are different to flash fiction in that flash fiction still has a plot, characters and structure woven together; whereas a vignette only focuses on one of these things or even a motif, or the vignette does not develop these ideas.

2. Librettos

It’s the book of an opera, musical or masque. It looks very much like a play, and it can be written in either verse or prose form. tHev form has its roots in literature even more because operas are sometimes based on short stories, like Madama Butterfly or Carmen. Usually, songs are not included in this type of literature. It can be wholly original or an adaptation of the work it is based on. Like any stage work, you’ll probanly we working with composers at some point. Lorenzo de Ponte was a famous librettist who worked with Mozart.

3. Novelettes

This is a work of prose longer than a short story but not long enough to be a novella. It’s unfairly been categorised as a light or trivial novella in terms of content, but this is an inaccurate description for this overlooked form. Common examples include The Birds by Daphne du Maurier, Buffalo Gals, Won’t you come out tonight? by Ursula K. Guin, The Doll and the Other by Algernon Blackwood and ‘The Bloody chamber’ by Angela carter are all novelettes.

And there we have it! Three of the minor forms of literature that are great but never receive enough attention. I hope you try them out.

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  1. how about blogettes

    these are incredibly dense but unserious stories, somewhere in length between a tweet and a ss

    or blaguettes

    these are also humorous stories, only in French

    … actually I have tried on my own blog to disuade young writers from even contemplating the idea of writing… with predictable result. i have been shunned! oh well… cheers 😉


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