SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Writer's Room => Kidlit Genres => Topic started by: SarahW on November 10, 2015, 07:28 PM

Title: Stressed Syllables?
Post by: SarahW on November 10, 2015, 07:28 PM
Can someone explain to be the concept of stressed syllables? I'm used to all sorts of different rhyming patterns, yet it still escapes me how to stress words.

I can't strESS that enough! :D

This will indirectly help my prose, as I got the circular rhyme pattern down. But not the stressing. How stressing!

(Well I don't have everything down, I often confuse me and my.:C)
Title: Re: Stressed Syllables?
Post by: JodyJS on November 11, 2015, 05:17 AM
Hi SarahW,

Tammi Sauer mentioned this website, rhymeweaver.com, on another thread about rhyming. It explains stressed/unstressed syllables. There are other good websites that explain it, too. I like Dori Chaconas's, http://www.dorichaconas.com/Icing%20the%20Cake%20page.htm.

The easy answer is stressed syllables are those you say louder and higher than other syllables in a word. For instance, take the word "excuse," as in the reason you give for not going to lunch with your friend. We pronounce it "ex-CUSE," with the second sound being emphasized or stressed. On the other hand, "Robert" is pronounced "ROB-ert," with the stress on the first syllable.

That's it.

When you rhyme, though, it's important that you write (and read) your work naturally, the way you actually speak and not unnaturally, for the sake of the rhythm.

Hope this is what you need.
Title: Re: Stressed Syllables?
Post by: SarahW on November 11, 2015, 10:58 PM
Thanks I'll be sure to take a look! I'm thinking of starting with poetry books to break in while trying to write my next middle grade novella.

Oh and as an aside, I'm actually not thinking of a picture book but rather the structure of an epic poem. But without the epic adventure. I'll see if I can figure it out.
Title: Re: Stressed Syllables?
Post by: marla-lesage on November 12, 2015, 04:34 AM
The rhymeweaver explanation is quite good. I personally use dictionary.com to look up all words with more than 1 syllable to find out exactly which syllable is stressed naturally. With some practice it gets easier to hear.
Title: Re: Stressed Syllables?
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on November 23, 2015, 03:40 PM
I look up words too. Merriam Websters even has a little microphone icon and reads the word to you if you click on it.

For another example, let's take this word: Present. Give me one and it's a PREsent. But I could preSENT it to you. It's stress that creates rhythm. I tap or snap out the rhythm as I write to make sure the stresses are correct.

Title: Re: Stressed Syllables?
Post by: wolfie712 on November 23, 2015, 10:25 PM
Here's another basic guide to rhythm and meter:

http://www.poetry4kids.com/blog/news/rhythm-in-poetry-the-basics/

I like the examples, and the capitalization makes the stresses easy to spot.
Title: Re: Stressed Syllables?
Post by: KatyD on November 24, 2015, 08:55 AM
Sometimes, if I'm not sure, I'll say the word aloud both ways--AP-pull or ap-PULL. That a cheat that helps me figure it out. :-)
Title: Re: Stressed Syllables?
Post by: onestepp on November 24, 2015, 11:43 AM
 Also if I'm not sure I would try saying the word quickly and then slowly to determine where the stressed part of the word lies.     ::-)
Title: Re: Stressed Syllables?
Post by: Schriscoe on November 24, 2015, 11:50 AM
The rhymeweaver explanation is quite good. I personally use dictionary.com to look up all words with more than 1 syllable to find out exactly which syllable is stressed naturally. With some practice it gets easier to hear.

Me too! Isn't it so cool and helpful!
Title: Re: Stressed Syllables?
Post by: SarahW on November 25, 2015, 11:24 PM
I'll take a look at the rhyme weaver then. I have difficulty with other poetry devices, o'er and o'er again.