Perhaps because finishing up (inasmuch as something I expect to continue tweaking for another year or two is "finished") my book manuscript has freed me from my usual constraints and expectations, I find myself working on something entirely new for me: a series of poems about a fictional persona, whose life story (from about age 14 to about age 50) I've been exploring. Some of the poems are in third person, many are in second person, and a few are in first person; some of the first-person poems are in the voice of the main character and some are in the voice of someone else, either addressing or thinking about the main character. There is an ongoing story or narrative involved, though the poems function as a series of scattered vignettes rather than anything quite as organized as a novel-in-verse; I'm interested in opening up windows on various moments of my character's life, peering in, and then moving on to the next. So far I have about a dozen poems in various stages of draft, and there will be more (though who knows how many of them will end up feeling strong enough to send them out into the world). I have no idea whether they're going to end up being arranged chronologically, though I suspect they may, more or less.
This is way more narrative than I'm used to juggling! It is an interesting challenge for me. Even though many of the individual poems function on the lyric as much as (or even more than) the narrative level, the overall trajectory relies heavily on things like character, setting, exposition, and the passage of time. As I draft the poems, some of them are coming out really prosey -- or what feels to me like "prosey" anyway. Which means they feel flat in places, overly expository. Anyone have tricks for revising drafts that start out like this? I want them to be poems, not jumpy little stories with line breaks!
These are fun to write, though. I feel like I get to play dress-up a bit. And my character has some damned cool boots. :)