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. Anonymous3:40 PM

    Alliterating almost always acts as an amazing aperture.



  2. Thanks, Gottawrite!

    Awesone alliteration, Angie!

  3. 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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