Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Behind the Books: Pretty Colors, Lovely Language

I’ve written about language before on this blog, but it’s a topic that just doesn’t get old.

Before I write a piece, I ask myself what kind of voice I want. Humorous? Lyrical?  When the writing is going well, my rough draft comes out sounding just right. But more often than not, it’s something I fine-tune during repeated passes.

There many, many language devices that can act as the sugar and spice of a manuscript. Here are a few of my favorites:
         Alliteration and assonance
         Repetition
         Rhyme
         Opposition

And here’s a representation of how I incorporated it into the first few pages of When Rain Falls:

Inside clouds, water droplets budge and bump, crash and clump. The drops grow larger and larger, heavier and heavier until they fall to the earth.

When rain
falls in a forest . . .
. .
. scurrying squirrels suddenly stop. They pull their long, bushy tails over their heads like umbrellas.

A hawk puffs out its feathers to keep water out and warmth in. Chickadees stay warm and dry inside their tree hole homes.

We’ll look at some more examples next week.

1 comment:

  1. I just taught my 7 year old daughter the word assonance last week because she spontaneously used the device in her writing.

    This post is a good resource for teachers who are teaching their students about these devices.

    I really pay attention to the sounds of words in my writing but I can't say I've been consciously using opposition. I'm going to watch for that.

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