crime writer uses poetry to help write novels

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THE CRIME NOVELIST WHO WRITES POETRY: KARIN SALVALAGGIO ON GETTING AT CHARACTER AND LYRICISM THROUGH VERSE – Literary Hub – 5/19/2017

Salvalaggio writes poetry privately, often to explore her personal life. She also uses it

“…for purely utilitarian reasons as I find it helpful to approach highly emotive scenes in my novels first as poetry. It is basically free writing, but in verse. In the absence of the usual constraints there’s an increased chance of stumbling upon unique ways to describe the natural world and human emotions. Unusual word juxtapositions also emerge, an example being bone dust white, a phrase used to describe a child’s breath on a frigid winter morning, which incidentally became the title of my first novel. When I’m free writing poetry it often feels like I’m taking down dictation from an unseen source. Ideas tend to emerge in surprising ways. After I’m finished I get out my highlighter and mine the unedited poems for interesting imagery and phrasing. The poems are then abandoned to the piles of notebooks thrown beneath my writing desk.”

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