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To Rhyme, or not to Rhyme

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nikki2526

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I am writing a short story and few of my sentences were unintentionally rhyming, so i started to change the other sentences to make those rhyme also. do you think this was a wise decision or should i change the rhyming sentences to not rhyme. or should i leave some rhyme and some not? what is the best solution? thanks
#1 - September 15, 2003, 08:00 AM

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Nikki,

The story is always the most important thing.   First, concentrate on telling a good story.

I wouldn't do it half-way.  Either it's meant to rhyme or it isn't.  Only you can tell that, at this point.

Good luck.  I'm sure someone else will chime in with good information.

Anne Marie
#2 - September 15, 2003, 09:04 AM
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Wow! That's one TOUGH question, Nikki!   :o  

Without actually reading the story, it's also almost impossible to answer, but when I have a problem like that, here's what I do:

I write it BOTH ways - in prose and in rhyme.  That way, I can compare the two and see what really works for it.  Which story is more compelling?  Which version makes the story the most exciting, without adding any extra "baggage" words that don't really mean anything in the story?  Which story would be more fun to read, more fun to listen to, and more fun when read over and over and over again?  

As far as writing it in part rhyme and part prose, I'd say, "Not unless the rhyme is a repeating verse."  Example:

Johnny picked up his new truck and glared at it.

"Hey, this ain't yellow!
It's not big.
I don't want
This rotten rig!"

"Now, now," Mother said.  That was a gift from your Aunt Toofey and it's not polite to say you don't like a gift.

Johnny scrunched up his eyes.  He twisted up his nose.  He snarled up his lip.

"But, this ain't yellow!
It's not big.
I don't want
This rotten rig!"

--- And the story would continue in this way, with this second version of the verse repeating throughout the story... until the end, when the verse would probably change to reflect his acceptance of the truck with something like:

"Hey, this ain't yellow!
It's not big.
But I just love
This bright blue rig!"

In a case like this, rhyme and prose can be intermixed.  To just have a prose story with "some rhyming lines" in it, however, is very disconcerting to the reader, and unless it is VERY carefully done (and I don't think I could do it) it normally will not work.

#3 - September 15, 2003, 09:11 AM
Verla Kay

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Torty

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Great advice, Verla and AM.
I agree wholeheartedly and thank you for answering the question I intended to post tonight. I have a 610 word PB which has a repeated rhyming verse. I find it's really necessary to the story as the repeated phrase I was using sounded very weak, unitl I changed it completely and it came out rhyming. I then worked on the meter and perfected it. It now sounds really strong. So yes, I think this format can really be effective. Now, if only the next editor I send it to will agree with me...... ;D
#4 - September 16, 2003, 04:14 AM

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