Novel Haiku

In honor of April Fool’s Day, novelist TA Pratt has promised to write book four in the Marla Mason series… entirely in Haiku. (See for yourself!)

I’m no poet, but I couldn’t resist the idea of writing a little haiku of my own. Here’s one for my first book:

Kung fu goddess seeks
Ancient jade statues and
Falls for geeky guy

Hm. I’m not sure if I should be thrilled or appalled that I can cover the plot basics in seventeen syllables. Let’s see how I do on my current work-in-progress, a middle grade science fiction adventure:

Failing tech sends two
mermaids to find answers; also,
their place the world.

Okay, I think we can all see why I’m not a poet. But here’s my challenge: Can you summarize your novel (or a favorite novel) in haiku form? Come on, I dare ya!

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  1. 1. Paul

    Well, Jenn, I’m intrigued by the poetic description of Jade Tiger enough to add it to my Amazon Wishlist (my personal way of keeping track of books that I might buy)

  2. 2. Bruce

    That’s a great summary of Jade Tiger :-) .

    Not one of my novels, but I wrote the following haiku-ish prose trying to win a free t-shirt from one of the space elevator companies:

    The sky leaks away
    unmasking countless lamps
    beyond heaven’s ladder

  3. 3. Bob Charters

    My novel that’s about to be published, PEPE, — I suppose the theme can be sumerised as:

    in the land of grey mist
    live children without childhood
    in bedrooms — no walls

    or, perhaps:

    small boy with squeegee
    no shoes, earning his living
    as all grown men should

    I’m toying with the idea of inserting a haiku at the beginning of some of my chapters (when I get it back for corrections).

    I just happen to be into haiku rightnow, as I’m teaching it to my High School writing class. Here’s one I gave them:

    this crazy teacher
    wants me to write a haiku
    I’ve no idea how

  4. 4. Jenn Reese

    Paul: You’ve given me hope for my career as a poet! Thank you, on many counts. :)

    Bruce: Okay, you’re actually *good* at haiku. No fair!

    Bob: I love “small boy with squeegee” — wonderful! I suspect your students are very happy they have a “crazy teacher.” :)

  5. 5. Barry Holmes

    Interesting idea. Wonder if my wife will agree on this little snippet regarding our current work.

    mated shapeshifters
    taboo is no barrier
    world culture crumbles

  6. 6. Soni

    Here’s mine for “Old Man’s War,” by john Scalzi

    at the end of life
    photosynthetic bod mod
    kicks alien ass


  1. Haiku Your Novel! — Jenn Reese

Author Information

Jenn Reese

Jenn Reese is the author of JADE TIGER (Juno Books, 2007), an action-adventure kung fu romance, with tigers. Her short stories have appeared online at Strange Horizons and Lone Star Stories, and in various print anthologies like Japanese Dreams, Sword & Sorceress, and Polyphony 4. When she's not writing, Jenn is practicing martial arts, playing World of Warcraft, or dreaming of rain. Visit site.



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