Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Encore Presentation: WRITERLY WISDOM

***I have a number of writing deadlines coming up over the next couple of months so I have decided instead of stepping away from my blog completely to concentrate solely on my writing, I will bring back an encore performance of my WRITERLY WISDOM series from three years ago. WW is 52 glorious posts by authors, agents, and editors from around the country providing writerly wisdom in categories from why even become a writer all the way to how to publish and market your books.

There will be two posts loaded per week...Mondays & be sure to stop by and check out all the encouraging information given by my lovely writerly friends! I hope you enjoy the encore presentation of my WRITERLY WISDOM series and I will return with shiny, new posts in the fall!***

Prose vs. Rhyme
by Catherine Johnson

Lots of people love to rhyme, but how do you do it well?
Do you dream it in your sleep? Do you make a magic spell?
Well…Did you read a post by Amy Dixon to make some notes first she’d suggest?
That way your plot has no big holes and your story is the best.
Learn your meter, but don’t be a slave, make your words behave
but let their length misbehave.
And just as you see above, internal rhyme is fun.
When you start experimenting your sparkling lines will stun.

“Now it’s not so easy to bring dialogue into a rhyming story, not a big scale anyway.
Experiment with how much dialogue you want before you go rhyming it,” she said.
“What stories have you read that you cannot imagine being written in prose and vice versa? Can you imagine Green Eggs and Ham in prose? What about Where the Wild Things Are being in rhyme? Some stories sound okay both ways. It’s very hard to turn a rhyming story into prose. Has anyone done that?”
Some people find it easier to write a poem in rhyme and expand it and add picture book elements to turn it into a picture book. I’ve tried it recently after hearing that M.M.Socks writes his picture books that way. It really is great, especially if you prefer writing poems to picture books.

Reasons for writing in prose:

1 Soft, gentle story with cute characters are usually in prose.
2 If the plot is too long to sound good in rhyme, I.e. The Monstore by Tara Lazar.
3 If it is too complicated to write in rhyme or you would lose the essence of the story in rhyme.
4 A book with very little text plus a repetitive line on each page as in Because I’m Your Dad by Ahmet Zappa and Dan Santat would be very difficult to rhyme and a bit pointless. (Love this book btw!)

Reasons for writing in rhyme:

1 Key words in the story rhyme easily with other words relevant to the story.
2 The story is lively and would be fun in rhyme.
3 It started life as a poem.

So does this help any lol? I would be happy to help anyone with meter issues etc. Happy rhyming and prosing folks!

Catherine Johnson is a British Ex-Pat living in Canada with her unruly brood ;) She likes to take the dog for a walk, write poems at every opportunity and has just started learning to illustrate. There just might be a book of zoo poems coming out soon. You can find Catherine on her blog at:


  1. Not often have I written a story in rhyme,
    And it's not something I would do much of the time.
    But it's fun to experiment once in a while
    To cause readers to think or evoke a smile.

    Hmm, might be fun to try before I die--
    A children's book? Rhyming recipes to cook?
    A light bit of history or even a mystery?
    Let think on this--you might have me hooked.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. Hi Arlee! How nice of you to stop by...and what a cute attempt at a rhyming reply...;~)

      Come back any time!

  2. I live near Catherine and know she loves poetry in a big way. Since I have being doing 12x12 this year,I have learned so much from the expert critiques I have received and stories I've read in rhyme. I love writing verse too but realize that keeping the rhythm the same is not easy. There is a wonderful site about metre called Rhyme Weaver at and Rene La Tuippe gives workshops on rhyming would be agreat help as they have been to me.
    Good luck Catherine with your poetry book.

    1. Hi Jane and welcome to my blog! I occasionally write some of my children's stories in rhyme but it certainly is NOT my strong suit! Thanks for the links...I will have to look them up...

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!

  3. Replies
    1. I try, Erik, I try...;~)

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!