So we’ve heard a bit about why the rock song structure fitted Holding Absence’s needs PERFECTLY. Now, it’s time to think about how Lucas Woodland’s ideas serve as doorways to a deeper understanding of our GCSE/A-Level texts.

Why did Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ have to be a novel?

Why did Lord Byron’s ‘She Walks In Beauty’ absolutely need to be a poem?

Why did Willy Russell’s ‘Blood Brothers’ have to be a play?

Think about the writers that you’re studying – can you come up with one reason why each of those chose the form they did?

The Big Short review: nailing the crux of the crash

These critical ideas might be useful as springboards for your own thinking…

Jennifer Tseng: “As a writer’s experience deepens, it can become increasingly difficult to articulate meaning within the confines of a short form.”

April Bernard: “The novels and short stories I have written are very much fictions, very much made up, and the difficult pleasures I had in writing them comes mostly from the thrill of making up whole worlds. In poetry, I am trying to describe the given world — however round-aboutly, however mischievously.”

April Bernard: “Greatest movie line ever, in ‘The Big Short’ — one businessman overheard saying to another: ‘Truth is like poetry. And everyone f****** hates poetry.'”

Will Self: “In the early 1980s, and… throughout the second half of the last century, the literary novel was perceived to be the prince of art forms.”

Will Self: “The capability of the extended prose form itself, which, unlike any other art form, is able to enact self-analysis.”

E.M. Welsh: “Because every theater may not be equipped with everything to make your story a reality, plays tend to be far more character focused instead of world or plot focused.”

We source our critical ideas from all over the place! Thanks so much to: The Millions, The Guardian and E.M. Welsh.

Send us your ideas regarding a particular writer’s choice of form and we will include the best of them on this page!

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