Wednesday, October 27, 2010
The Music of Our Words
Every piece of prose we read carries a kind of music. Sometimes it’s a merry jaunt that makes the reader’s eyes dance across the page. Sometimes it’s a jittery staccato that makes the reader catch their breath. Sometimes it’s a harmonious flow of words that makes the reader float through the story.
Rhythm is connected to both the pace and the sound of the words. It can be found in the ebb and flow of your prose and it brings life, feeling and atmosphere into the story. Although the music is often subtle, it has a profound impact on the reader because it can trigger the reader’s emotion. This is the same reason soundtracks so successfully enhance movie imagery.
Because rhythm is sound, we must read our pieces out loud to tune our ears to the music. This way we’ll be able to hear how the rhythm of the sentences fit in with the music of the paragraph in the concert of the scene.
When you are writing and editing do you think about the music of your piece? What importance do you place on rhythm?