Friday, August 13, 2010

Rhyming Tips and Traps Teaser

I've written about rhyme from time to time on this blog, as it is my primary form of children's writing. However, as blogging goes, once a topic is off the main list of blog posts visible on a site, it is literally out of sight and out of mind. Herewith a brief revisit of the topic.

If you have ever tried to write something in rhyme, you may have hit a wall on the road to rhyming self-discovery. Let's face it, being a rhymer is not easy. Rhyme can be relatively unforgiving in its structural requirements.

To do rhyme well, the rhyming sets have to be right on the mark. If you find yourself stretching just to make two words rhyme for no reason, you'll get a thumbs down from most editors. And "near rhymes" can be just as bad. It may work in song writing but in children's rhyme in particular, near rhymes come across as being too casual and inattentive to detail. Many editors won't give rhyme the time of day because they may have seen more than their share of bad rhyme and simply don't have the time to see if a particular submission, no matter how good it may be, in fact has potential.

As for the rhythm thing, failure to establish a clear cadence can be a rhyme killer. For example, whichever rhythmic pattern (the beats and cadence) you choose, needs to be consistent and engaging to capture and hold a reader's attention. Generally, if the beat is off (unless deliberately done for emphasis), your rhyming ship may be sunk before ever weighing anchor.

So let's pick a rhyme apart for a moment to give you an idea of what you are getting yourself into. What comes next may seem a bit cheesy. But to take the next step, bear with me. You'll need to go to my website at and click on the link in the center of the page that says: "Rhyming Resource Center" then follow it via the "Rhyming Tips and Traps" link to the rest of this story.

I know. I know. Website pandering is shameless. But I hope your visit to will be helpful to you and not simply seem a lame effort to increase my site visit count. However it strikes you, I'd like to hear from you pro or con whether the rhyming tips on my site were helpful. Just e-mail me at . Either way, best of luck on your jaunty journey in rhyme.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing the tips, Bill. I enjoyed a visit to your website and really like your poem of the month!