Tuesday, March 22, 2016

10 Rhyme Crimes to Avoid in Your Picture Book Manuscripts


If you're a rhymer, chances are you've committed one or more of these rhyme crimes at some point in your writerly past. I know I have! And that's why I'm here to warn you: committing these despicable acts when writing a picture book manuscript will land you in the slammer! Well, you're probably not going to end up in jail, but you may get slammed with some harsh critiques and/or reviews, not to mention getting a slap on the wrist by the rhyme and meter police!

So, take my advice, and avoid these rhyme crimes:

1. Position a word in a line in such a way as to force the reader to abandon the word's natural stresses in order to maintain the verse's established meter.

2. Use a word solely for its rhyme, knowing that it doesn't truly fit in the context of the line.

3. Choose words that are near rhymes.

4. Use homophones as rhyming words (pare and pear, for example).

5. Overuse ordinary, one-syllable rhyming words.

6. Don't consider alternate pronunciations of common words.

7. Be afraid to use interesting and unusual language.

8. Steer clear of trying a variety of formats and rhyme schemes.

9. Rely on syllable count rather than a word's natural rhythm.

10. Never listen to someone else read your story aloud.

Have you been committing any of these crimes against good rhyme? Don't worry! It's never too late to turn your rhyming life around.

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