The Three "Rs"---Lesson One----"Rhythm"


This week's assignment involves the first of the three words every writer should consider carefully and include in his or her work as a matter of course, no matter what genre, style or topic is chosen:

Rhythm: How do the words themselves come off the page? Are they stilted and clumsy, or do they flow like water and oil? What voice is taken...the staccato of surprise, or the lazy glissando of long-accustomed familiarity? Do we skip, hop and jump from thought to thought, like a frog on lily pads, or do we sweep from point to point to point like a dolphin seeking sardines? This is what we mean by RHYTHM.


Pick a genre to write in (poetry will be fine for this exercise) and:
  1. Establish a rhythm in three lines of verse, and choose a subject (pomegranates?)
  2. Maintain the established rhythm (do not revise the established three lines)
  3. Complete the work within twenty minutes

(You'll note that the choice of subject is secondary to getting that rhythm going...make the words work for you and not in any blind alley of restriction.)

Good luck...........have fun............bring back some trophies!


Andrée said...

Ever since I first read this, this past weekend, I keep thinking about how the rhythm is what you do first. The message comes after. I was thinking that this would not be true in academic writing (which is what I usually write), but I think I might be wrong. I am always thinking that I can't be long-winded. I want to keep my writing staccato so that the reader is perhaps unwittingly dragged into the mathematics and/or logic. So now I think you are right.

---Michael--- said...

When fewer words impart your message, use fewer words. Treat words as bricks of gold. They gain in value the scarcer they are.