For my entries in the 2012 A to Z Challenge, I will be focusing on writing elements that I find important and that I want to incorporate into my work.
Today, the topic is RHYTHM.
I’m a writer. Well, OK – I guess until I achieve some measure of publication, I’m an aspiring writer.
But I’m also a musician. I’ve played guitar for over 35 years. So it’s natural (or at least familiar) for me to think in terms of rhythm, beat, syncopation, accent, and dynamics.
Rhythm is all around us – the beating of our heart, the ebb and flow of our breath, the tempo of day into night, the cycle of the seasons. Our lives themselves are immersed, surrounded, and defined by rhythm,
So it needs to be there in my writing, too. Plot pacing, scene tempo, dialogue diction, and even the word-choices of my description all benefit form a sense of timing.
I want there to be the proper beat to my prose, the right ebb and flow in my descriptions, the perfect tempo in my character development, and a fully-developed cycle in my plot.
So I’m striving to not repeat words unless I’m doing it intentionally to accent a beat; varying sentence length to compliment what I’m describing – fast and short for action, slow and long for rest; letting my characters reveal themselves within the proper timing; and constructing my plot to complete a cycle of rise and fall.
It’s not always easy. But when it works, my writing is so much better for it.
And you want to know one of the best ways I’ve found to test my work for the right rhythms? Reading it aloud. Better yet -- recording it and then playing it back.
Sure, it can be painful to listen to when it doesn’t work out so well, but for me, this is a great way to appraise the rhythm and give a work that final check before declaring it “finished.”
So gimme a beat and let’s start writing!
Thanks for visiting -- see you the rest of this month for more alphabetical fun!
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