Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tuesday Tip #6: Simple Sillyness for the Sake of Skill Sharpening

I'm a big believer in feeding the brain with fun. And a great way to feed your writer brain is with alliteration, or, more specifically, to make up wacky alliterative phrases. For example: Peter piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

This is especially useful for a writer who likes to write fun and goofy stuff for kids. It's also useful for a writer (or anyone, I guess) who just needs to loosen up a bit.

One reason this is such a useful thing for writers to mess with, besides the "goof factor," is that it forces you to dig for synonyms. It's always a good exercise for any writer to think up (or look up) alternate words and/or phrases for what they're trying to say.

Can you think of a funner way to do practice that skill?

Here's one just for fun:

Excited elephants eagerly erupt in ecstatic exultation. (I had to dig for exultation.)

Other uses for alliteration:

1. Character names (don't go crazy with this one, though)
2. Titles (I have a PB manuscript titled Fredrick the Fainthearted)
3. Jazz up poetry or lines in a picture book with an alliterative phrase or two.
4. Drive your kids crazy by using alliterative phrases in everyday speech.
5. Help kids learn their letter sounds!


  1. I love alliteration... it's a way to insert songiness and whimsy into regular old lingo. Perfect! Fun post, Rebecca, thanks!

  2. Alliterating almost always acts as an amazing aperture.



  3. Thanks, Gottawrite!

    Awesone alliteration, Angie!

  4. There's something in our inner ear just delights in alliteration. I know I would be more likely to pick up a picture book titled Doubtful Dan than I would Doubtful Frank.

    I enjoyed this post and am off to play with words!


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