Forced Rhyme Moments
I was recently helping a poet/author who was worried about forced rhyme moments and then she realized she wasn’t absolutely sure what ‘forced rhyme’ even met.
So, here’s a bit of rundown on ways we can all force our rhymes.
The most common way picture book editors balk at forced rhymes is when the author rearranges the phrase or sentence so that the rhyme comes at the end but the whole thing sounds unnatural. Like this:
Whenever we go out for a run,
With you, I like the sun.Look at me! I’m unnatural.
Normally, it would be in natural conversational U.S. English:
Whenever we go out for a run,
I like the sun.
The ‘with you’ wouldn’t even be there because of the ‘we.’ We just shove that on to make it rhyme, which is why we call it forced. J I love imagining all of us poet-people brandishing our mugs of tea and pens and screaming, “Rhyme, damn it! I force you!”
The other big thing that happens in picture books is we stick random information into the story just to make a rhyme.
I like manatees. I think they’re great.
My aunt got sick from a tomato she ate.This is pretty cute, actually.
So, if the rest of the book was about manatees, then that line about the aunt wouldn’t make sense, right? That’s another example of a forced rhyme.
Making a Big Long Line
I did this so much when I was young and I still have to hold my typing hands back because it’s what I ALWAYS WANT TO DO. I would make a really big line to get a rhyme in.
I was working over at the Dairy Joy,
Just minding my own business, scooping the scoops, when I finally scoped out this boy.Most of my grade-school poems were about being in love with random imaginary humans
Anyway, if the rest of the couplets are short, then this looks silly and forced.
Almost But Not Quite
Another big thing people do is the almost but not quite there rhyme. They call this a slant rhyme or a half rhyme. Poets actually use this on purpose all the time. Here’s an example that I pasted from the web. It’s a poem called “To My Wife” by George Wolff
If love is like a bridgeGeorge Wolff
or maybe like a grudge,
and time is like a river
that kills us with a shiver,
then what have all these mornings meant
but aging into love?
What now is straight must have been bent;
what now is whole must have been rent.
My hand is now your glove.”
This happens when the words rhyme, but different syllables are stressed like here where the stress goes on the first syllable of laughing so on the laugh and not on the ing:
I was laughing
On the swing.Random pretend poem
So, there you go. A tiny little lesson (Lesson? It sounds so formal!) about forced rhymes. Remember force is not cool. Talk to your poems, chill with them, let them decide to hang out with you.
WHERE TO FIND OUR PODCAST, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.
Join the 245,000 people who have downloaded episodes and marveled at our raw weirdness. You can subscribe pretty much anywhere.
Last week’s episode link! It’s about dirty feet and archetypes. Sexy!
Last week’s bonus podcast with writer Holly Schindler!
This week’s link to Ronni’s interview.
COME WRITE WITH ME!
I coach, have a class, and edit things. Find out more here.
NEW BOOK OF AWESOME- THE PLACES WE HIDE
I have a new book out!!!!!! It’s an adult mystery set in the town where we live, which is Bar Harbor, Maine. You can order it here. And you totally should.
And if you click through to this link, you can read the first chapter!
And click here to learn about the book’s inspiration and what I learned about myself when I was writing it.
NEW SESSION OF WRITE! SUBMIT! SUPPORT!
These six-month courses offer structure and support not only to our writing lives but also to the roller coaster ride of submissions. We offer support whether you’re submitting to agents or, if agented, you’re weathering submissions to editors. We discuss passes that come in, submissions requests, the feedback we aren’t sure about, where we are feeling directed to go in our writing lives, and more.
|Find out if WSS is right for you at this FREE WEBINAR on Thursday July 23rd, from 7-8:30pm CDT.Founder Bethany Hegedus will share an inspiring talk on the literary life and will be joined by WSS instructors/TA’s, plus past and present WSS writers who will answer all your burning questions!|
This is a great opportunity to meet this session’s faculty, talk with previous students about their growth throughout the program and participate in some inspirational activities led by Bethany Hegedus. *If you cannot attend live, no need to worry! All registrants will receive a video playback of the event!