This is how I’ve always written. When I was younger I was an avid journal writer and my writing never really came out in complete sentences — more like fragments. But as the years have gone by, I’ve learned to play with the format more. Writing in verse gives me the opportunity to lead the reader in a way that’s more aggressive than traditional prose. By changing the line breaks or the way the words are spaced out, I can give a different effect. I can really stress something. Or I can lead a reader to think one thing, and then have it revealed as another when you read the next line. I get to be tricky. (For example, read the excerpt below from You Are Not Here and pay attention to the seventh and eighth lines.)
There are men digging Brian’s grave.
They are digging a hole
in the cool earth,
on a hot day for the boy who has occupied
my thoughts and my heart
for the last three months,
for the boy I lost
my virginity to,
for the boy I think I loved.
Another great thing about writing a novel in verse is how spare I can be. I try to use my words wisely. (BTW, the phrase “use my words wisely” is something I would definitely delete in the editing process. I never want to use phrases that my reader can complete on his/her own. I think it makes the work less unique and the reader less engaged.) And I often try to use as few words as possible. Writing in verse allows me to cut out all the fat and just get to the meat — the emotions — of the story.