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Finding The Rhythm In Your Writing

Updated on October 2, 2013

One of the Best

“And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

I have a dream today!”

If you have often wondered what all the fuss about rhythm in writing is, you need look no further than some of the great speeches in history. The section above, from Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, is a classic example of rhythm in writing.

So what is rhythm with regards to writing?

Rhythm in writing is the ebb and flow of the words. It involves patterns and sentence structure so that your words have a pace and a beat….just like music.

Rhythm is one of the least mentioned aspects of writing and one of the least understood, but it is crucial to master it so that your good writing can become great writing.

Finding a rhythm to your writing is not an easy task, so let’s take a look at a few tips that can help you begin to learn this important aspect of writing.

Make your writing flow
Make your writing flow | Source

Vary Sentence Length

Writers fall into comfortable patterns, and one pattern they are prone to is the length of a sentence. Try varying the word count from time to time, and try to have the length of the sentence match that which you are trying to say.

If you are trying to portray excitement, shorter sentences are probably best. If you are trying to portray boredom, then rambling sentences might work there. Ask yourselves what it is you are trying to say. What emotions do you wish to evoke in the reader, and then vary sentence length to achieve those emotions. Notice the flow in King’s speech….from one sentence to the next, it is like a musical score. Remember that you are the conductor of the written word, so grab your baton and lead your orchestra.

Do you feel your writing has rhythm?

See results

Shift Words and Phrases Around for Better Effect

Remember that there is great flexibility in the English language, so use that flexibility to your advantage. In fact, I’ll go you one further and tell you that at times it is perfectly alright to break some of the grammar rules that we were taught in school.

Instead of “he quietly listened,” perhaps you could write “he listened quietly” for better flow, or “he listened with the quietness of a church mouse.”

I will say this again and I’ll probably say it several more times before this article is finished: your writing must flow. Using only short sentences is like drilling a cavity without painkiller. Using one long sentence after another is like being stuck in a small room with a Russian novelist. Neither are great options!

JFK Inaugural Speech

Learn to Write in Fragments

I know, I know, Sister Mary Joseph is rolling over in her grave at this very moment. How dare I suggest that you break the rules of English?

Oh well!

At times, proper English gets in the way of great writing. You can quote me on that. J Think about it for a second. We all talk in sentence fragments from time to time. It is our natural, default way of talking, right?

I was thumbing through “The Grapes of Wrath” in preparation for this article, and to my joyous wonder Steinbeck wrote sentence fragments throughout that book. He understood, and you should as well, that rules are meant to be broken at times when it benefits the end result.

Just don’t do it too often or people will come to suspect that you don’t have a clue how to write properly. (if you were paying attention I just broke another rule).

Writing about nature should sound like nature
Writing about nature should sound like nature | Source

Mood to Rhythm and Rhythm to Mood

"If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it."
Anais Nin

Stop right now and head to YouTube. Pull up the speech by JFK where he says “ask not what your country can do for you…..” and listen to the rhythm of that speech. It is a thing of wonder. His words, phrases, and sentence length match the mood of what he is trying to convey. The same is true of King’s speech. Listen to that one on YouTube if you want to better grasp how mood can affect rhythm and vice versa.

If you are describing nature then your words should sound like a gentle brook flowing over smooth rocks. If you are describing a revolution then your words should sound like explosions and misery. As a general rule, words with hard consonants carry harsher sounds and thus convey a harsher emotion.

Practice, grasshoppers, and see if you don’t agree.

Listen to the flow of words on MLK speech

Build It up and Tear It Down

Again I refer you to King’s speech. You will notice that he repeats phrases to build up the rhythm until he reaches the climax. It is like an orchestra building tempo and then a new section begins, slower, more relaxed, and then……

Use the counterpoint of tension and relief in your writing. Build, build and build and then strip away the tension and allow the readers a moment to catch their breath. This is a very effective way of writing. It engages the reader. One can almost feel the heartbeat of the reader increase as the words drive them forward, and then the pulse slows as the writing slows. It is a beautiful thing to see when it is done by a master.

A writer in search of rhythm
A writer in search of rhythm | Source

Now That You Know How to Do It….just Do It!

I am going to start from the assumption that all of you want to become better writers. Whether you write SEO content or you write novels, your goal should be to improve and be the best that you can be. These tips will help you to accomplish that task.

Practice makes perfect so get out there and practice. Becoming an exceptional writer takes work; it does not happen by accident.

For those of you who play a musical instrument, this should come easier than for those who are musically challenged. Listen to the music. Feel the emotions. Now translate that into words and you will be well on your way to becoming a good writer.

Listen to the music….feel the music….become the music.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 3 years ago from New York, New York

      Absolutely beautiful and wonderful suggestions Bill!! I have learned to write in fragments and use certain words for effect. I used cringe at not using proper English, but sometimes it is necessary and couldn't agree more. Thank you as always and have voted, shared and wishing you a wonderful Monday!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for being the first and for always being here. Have a wonderful birthday my friend. You deserve the very best.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Goodness, this is a topic that I haven't put much thought into in recent years. I love that you gave us examples, and provided information that will help us. I will re-read this later, and put it into practice.

      Thank you, my friend, and I hope you had a pleasant weekend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Kathryn. We did have a nice weekend albeit a hectic and crowded one. Have a wonderful week ahead my friend.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Perhaps your best yet. Thank you. And thank you for combining a great lesson with great examples that to this day bring tears to my eyes. I am renewed in spirit for writing and will do better today.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Another wonderful piece to add to the 'become a better writer' folder. Rythym is so important in capturing and keeping the reader's attention. It's key to engaging the reader and becoming involved in the emotions of the story. The 12/59 Shuttle from Yesterday to Today is a perfect example of rythym. You can't help but become involved in the story and have an emotional connection with the characters. Rythym in writing creates the difference between a can't-put-it-down book and a I'll-get-back-to-it-when-I-have-nothing-better-to-read book!

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Kay Badder 3 years ago from USA

      This makes me think that the speech writers of these great men should be more recognized. I hadn't ever thought of rhythm to writing. I'll have to look at mine and maybe it would make it a little more exciting. Thanks for the article.

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Wow- awesome and engaging hub. Not to mention-inspiring! (How's that for a fragment)? I love the examples that you've used and it makes perfect sense. Voted up and everything else!! :)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Thanks Bill!

      Rhythm really does matter when writing. Right before I read your very last sentences, I was thinking about music, as I am inspired to write a lot of times by music and its rhythm.

      Excellent article.

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • profile image

      mjkearn 3 years ago

      Hi Sir Bill

      Now don't panic Bill, I'm on a galloping horse called Kawasaki today so this won't be too painful.

      All men are created equal? Will that cause the women to fight and if so where do I get a ticket?

      I thought my writing was rubbish but now you tell me it is boring as well. Ah Bill and I thought we were friends.

      Grammar Rules. Gibberish-/-don't have none````or what-that I aware of???

      A Russian is not a great option. Depends on what you have experienced Sir Bill.

      Oops sorry, wrong site again.

      I've been told I've got the rhythm of a brick but Proper English ain't wat I got so der as hip far me witing den.

      Danks Rill

      Another great lesson from the great man and I'm so happy that I've learned that I should introduce rhythm into my rubbish.

      Thanks Bill. You're the best teacher that I never threw anything at, LOL.

      Have a great day.

      MJ.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 3 years ago from Arizona

      I think I will sit down at the piano next to my computer. Seriously this makes a great deal of sense...I know how boring writing can be when everything is the same. Voting up and pinning in your special section.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      "I got rhythm

      I got music

      I got [writing]

      Who could ask for anything more?"

      Hey, Bill!

      With allusion and apologies to George Gershwin, good morning, my Olympia brother!

      Rita's calling me to the car...gotta rush off, but just wanted to tell you that I found this hub and its topic fabulous! Thanks for writing about rhythm today--a great and novel way to begin the new week, Bill! Aloha, and may the music never stop!

      Joe

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Long and boring...was that about me! J/K

      I do worry sometimes because of the length of most of my poems and one would have to read them as I wrote them to find my rhythm and they may not have as much wind as me. I do get that rhythm point though and for a good poem it really does need it and I strive for it, especially in a rhyming poem; which most of mine are. I have read some beautiful non-rhyming ones here though.

      You make some good points here and bring some great speakers that had such a flow to their words. It made their words so visible.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 3 years ago from Taos, NM

      This is a very important lesson in writing Bill. Although I just can't make myself write sentence fragments. I know it is acceptable in writing, but the English teacher in me just won't allow it. I even have a rough time doing it when writing dialogue and there we do speak in sentence fragments at times. I guess this is one hump I still have to get over. lol. Thanks for your interesting and informative writing hubs. We all can learn from them.

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      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      As Gloria Estefan sang "Rhythm is gonna get you" and it does! Great write again my friend, so very true when you actually think about it. It ties in with that hook! Hopefully my rhythm is improving in my writing and I will be giving it more attention now, thanks for highlighting this important aspect.

      Have a great week buddy!

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      Liz Davis 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Rhythm exists without music and your writing should have the "catchiness" of a song. I think that's one of the reasons why you should read your work out loud before your final draft. If it doesn't have rhythm, it will show when you hear it. Yup.

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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      You are so right with this one! King was a great orator, and it was because of his rhythm, I think.

      When I am finished with a Hub, I read it out loud. I ran for and won a seat on our local School Board some years ago, and every speech I wrote I recorded it. I would play it back over and over.

      Thanks for another helpful article, Bill.

      Voted UP and certainly shared.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Another wonderful hub Billy ;it is no wonder you are such a popular writer and friend; the latter being the most important !!

      I vote up, across and share. I hope that you and Bev are having a great day and that the sun is shining as it is here. Lots of love

      Eddy.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks especially for this article. Rhythm to mood to rhythm is one of my intentions. Your article is very helpful.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Eric! A writer always loves positive reinforcement, and you provided it this morning.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, perfectly stated, and thank you for mentioning my book. You are a doll and a loyal friend, and I cherish you.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Barbara, rhythm is the different between an average piece of writing and a great one.....and yes, those speechwriters should have been paid big bucks. :) Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      epbooks, you used that fragment perfectly. :) Thank you my new friend.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, musicians should understand this concept very easily...to be a musician and writer is a bonus with regards to this subject.

      Thank you my dear; blessings coming your way.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MJ....greatest comment you have left so far. Maybe because it's the shortest? LOL.. no, it's because of that last line about not throwing anything at me.

      Listen to the rhythm of your engines my friend, then just write to it. :) Pretty simple buddy.

      Thanks for the visit. Time is flying and I'm way behind....I'll never understand how I fall behind by eight in the morning.

      Thanks my friend.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, I love it....I can see hundreds of writers sitting next to their instrument now before writing.....I'm glad this was helpful...I know it will be if you use it. :) Thanks my friend and Happy Monday!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joe, pay attention to Rita and thanks for thinking of me before you took off with her.

      Keep the beat my friend and never lose it....and by the way, you already have it in your writing. :)

      Aloha,

      bill

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, poetry is the perfect medium for rhythm and yes, you have it. You, long and boring??? Not a chance my friend. Never have been and never will be.

      Thank you as always....you are appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzette, I literally have to force myself to write in fragments. I know it's wrong but there are times it feels so right, especially in dialogue.

      Thank you my friend and as a former teacher, I do understand.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Suzie, I just got done kibitzing with MJ and now his better half shows up. You have your hands full with that boy. LOL

      Thanks for the visit.....this is so important and it is something I am very conscious of....and all writers should be.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzy, you said it perfectly, and that's why I believe in proofreading out loud...then you can hear the words flow...if they flow at all. LOL

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, you got it! I have nothing to add, other than thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hello Eddy and I agree with you, being a friend is so much more important. I'd love to be a friend AND a successful writer, but I'll settle for loyal friend.

      Thank you my dear and hugs are coming your way.

      love,

      billy

    • WalterPoon profile image

      Poon Poi Ming 3 years ago from Malaysia

      Billybuc, is this hub inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr.? Rhythm... you are right. Rhythm can be a very powerful technique in creative writing. Unfortunately, all my hubs so far are non-creative, non-fiction. How do I do rhythm for non-fiction hubs? Let me try:

      Why do leaders lie? They lie because they won't be leaders if they don't.

      Why do leaders lie? Because that's how they became leaders in the first place.

      Why do leaders lie? Because they know it pays to lie.

      Why do leaders lie? Question is why can't leaders lie, especially when they are tired and need a rest.

      Jokes aside, the tips in this hub is fantastic and very informative. I have been looking for something like this, ever since I read someone saying that a novel is a poem in prose. Voted up with UABI!

      (P/S: Billybuc, I'm a non-creative writer but I always want to rewrite poems into prose. Hopefully, you can write 2 hubs on that: one on the technique and another, offering a real-life example.)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dora. If it is one of your intentions then you are aware of it, and being aware of it is a huge step.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Walter, you showed tremendous rhythm in your comment with the repeated phrases.

      How to have rhythm in technical writing? Add more of a personal voice to it...give yourself permission to open up your natural writing voice.....it's there because I see it daily in your comments.

    • WalterPoon profile image

      Poon Poi Ming 3 years ago from Malaysia

      Billybuc, you are spot on! I have a big problem finding my natural writing voice, after being with Wikipedia for more than 2 years, and using the Wikipedia style of writing in my websites for the following five. On top of that, I can hear my professors screaming: "We don't want your opinion! Tell us which eminent persons said that!" But, of course, the context and situation is different. I'm behaving like a butcher trying to do a surgeon's job, LOL.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Walter, it will come.....opinion isn't even necessary if you can tap into your natural, fluid style of speaking. :)

    • mylindaelliott profile image

      mylindaelliott 3 years ago from Louisiana

      Great article. I understand the rhythm but find it very hard to achieve. That said I really like short sentences. It seems to be easier for people to understand.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 3 years ago from South Africa

      Well, Billybuc, there is definitely rhythm in your writings. Thanks for reminding us of the importance to create rhythm.

      Excellent hub!

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      Ruchira 3 years ago from United States

      what an encouraging piece of work on Monday morning :)

      Have a great week, Bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Melinda, I understand why you say that about short sentences, and a part of me sadly agrees....but....rhythm will never be achieved using all short sentences. Good luck as you grow in your writing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martie, it is my pleasure. As the orchestra leader I am sure you understand this lesson. :) Thank you as always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruchira! blessings to you always my friend.

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      Theresa Ast 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Hi Bill - The music of writing is so important. And certainly rythym and all the things you mentioned are so essential. And with poetry, sometimes even with prose, there is the added music of each word's sound - sibilance, repitition, assonance, and so on. Playing with words, reveling in language is on e of the greatest gifts and blessings we have. I hope this is a wonderful errk for you. :) Theresa

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 3 years ago from south Florida

      Rhythm in writing IS important, Bill - thanks for reminding us. King's speech was an excellent example.

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      Deonne Anderson 3 years ago from Florence, SC

      Another great hub billybuc! Lots of valuable information. Thanks for the reminder. Voted up and shared.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      drbj, you have it in your comedy hubs....they flow, except for when we have to stop from laughing so hard. :) Thanks my loyal and enthusiast friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lady....I hope it helps someone.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Theresa, you said it perfectly. It really is a gift that needs to be taken seriously...as I know you do. :)

      Thank you and blessings are coming your way from Olympia

      bill

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      Judy Specht 3 years ago from California

      Bill the videos aren't working!

      You are always clear and concise. So affirming, I do many of the things you suggest already. Greatly encouraged by your writers work shops.

    • livingsta profile image

      livingsta 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you for this hub Bill. This is a very important point to remember and hold on to while writing. Thank you for this great tip and advise.

      Have a great week my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tireless, that's weird...they work when I click them. Hmmmm!

      Well, thank you for your kind words. I hope this finds you well and happy my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dahlia! It's always nice to have you visit. I hope your week goes well. Sending hubs and blessings.

      bill

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      Judy Specht 3 years ago from California

      Videos work now. It has been a weird internet day.

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      Shiela Mae Parreno 3 years ago from Davao City, Philippines

      Love this hub bill, as always. Now that I'm aware, yes indeed there was and there has always been a rhythm to my writing.

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      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      That illustration of rhythm using Luther's speech was a great one. The repetition and rhythm gave it dynamic effect. Thanks for the advice on rhythm!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tireless, glad to hear it. I don't trust technology at all and still I blame myself when something doesn't work. LOL

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shiela, good for you....you have natural rhythm. :)

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are welcome, Michelle. Thank you for stopping by.

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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      You have a wealth of writing knowledge, Bill. Thanks once again for sharing your ideas and suggestions. Rhythm in writing is a wonderful thing!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree, Alicia, it is a thing of beauty when done right.

      Thank you as always for stopping by.

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      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Awesome! Full of great ideas and tips; as usual! A very useful and impressive read, my friend.

      Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips with us, Bill.

      Voted up and shared.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great post. I've learned quite a bit here. Which means I've got re-writes to do. lol

      One of tips that I hear over and over again is to read aloud what you've written. Is this so you can hear the rhythm in the writing?

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      Vickiw 3 years ago

      Hi Bill, very nice article. We tend to go on complacently once we have discovered a style we like, and remembering some writing tips that were helpful. It is good to jerk ourselves back into the painful reality that while we remember some, we also forget more. Practise, practise, and that is why we love writing! Thanks for the write - and your teacher wouldn't have liked that either!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, as always I thank you my friend. I hope you are well and I send blessings to you today and always.

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      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      As is your want sensei, you have outdone yourself. And, btw, Joe stole my song! Now, to the crux of the matter....great advice, great read and definitely a keeper to return to.

      Sometimes I'm not sure if the rhythm is in my heart, head or feet but I guess its time to find out!

      Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting and shared.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix, it is indeed....it also helps you to spot mistakes during editing.

      Thank you and I'm happy that you found this useful.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vicki....LOL...no, the good Sister would have slapped her hand for that fragment.

      Thank you for a great comment, one I totally agree with.

      Take care my friend

      bill

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, if it is in your heart and head it will find its way to your writing. :) Sensei??? I'm honored.

      Thank you my dear and have a great Tuesday.

      bill

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      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Awesome with great practice one can easily write to perfection and you just know how to go about advising the community on just that an excellent write up most informative and useful.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well thank you very much, DDE...very kind words my friend.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 3 years ago

      Good morning William.

      Constructive! . . . Wow. Thank's my friend . This one just for me, a "special " delivery - " fine adjusting tool".

      Up,useful and awesome.

      Have a blessed and prosperous day.

    • profile image

      SilverGenes 3 years ago

      Bill, this is excellent! I came from a 'proper English' background until I hit my first journalism class in college. I hated it! Precis was something I struggled with all year but eventually caved and did it. A wondrous thing happened. All my flowery words went out the window and I was faced with bare bones. It was up to me to weave a few well-chosen words to create the mood and inform the reader in a single sentence. Waste nothing was the rule and choosing the words created the music. Writing is a craft and rather fun when faced with such challenges. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael, indeed, it was just for you. :) You are very welcome and I thank you for your kind words.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alex, what a great comment and example of what this hub is all about. The good writers do not need a great many words....maybe that's why they are great? :) Thank you my friend.

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      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Your hub rang true for me as I began writing my new book. I have a feeling I'll be making sure there is that rhythm!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      epbooks, I'm glad to hear it. It requires diligence and effort; maybe that's why so many people do not have rhythm in their writing. :) Thank you and best of luck on that new book.

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      Denise W Anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Excellent advice! As a musician in a family of musicians, I relate to what you are saying. I appreciate you explaining it so well. Thanks!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Denise. I think we musicians have an advantage in this regard...we can hear the tempo of the words, which is so important.

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      ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE 3 years ago from KOLKATA

      The length and rhythm of a sentence match the mood we wish to communicate. Writing benefits from the approach to carry the reader along on waves of tension and release. Thanks for the wonderful ideas.

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      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Wonderful info! You always have great ideas!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Arun, you summarized it perfectly. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks vkwok....I've had a number of years to store up these ideas. :)

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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Let me see if I can give this a shot and see what I come up with. Many times, I just get lost in my Boomer Lake journeys and forget everything else. Maybe I should read a few of them and see where I am lacking. Thanks, Billy!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Deb! Good luck with it. Actually, articles like Boomer Lake are hard to adorn with rhythm....unless you turn it more into a personal reflection with a more natural voice in the writing. :)

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      rose-the planner 3 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      What a worthwhile and insightful hub! You have managed to showcase the importance of having rhythm in your writing so well. It certainly was a pleasure reading this and it's no wonder you were an educator. Thank you for sharing! (Voted Up) -Rose

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rose, what a lovely thing for you to say. Thank you and I hope this helps in some way.

      bill

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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Interestingly, my dad was a very accomplished musician (keyboards, voice and more). I never could get the hang of musical rhythm (or anything else in music I might add). Just wasn't passed on in the genes... or was it? When it comes to writing, I can hear the rhythm and the melody all in my mind (okay, no smart remarks about me listening to the voices in my head).

      I listen to how people talk and write very similarly. That gives writing the conversational quality that really can connect with an audience.

      Thanks for the helpful notes (pun intended)!

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I learn from reading your hubs, now to apply your tips. I love listening to MLK speech, i never tire of it....Thank you again Bill.....

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, that's why I've included it on several hubs...I love it too. :) Thank you my friend.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, it's different for all of us. I read my work aloud and learn the rhythm from that. I know what I want to say; then it's just a matter of finding the right way to say it so it sounds like my meaning, if that makes any sense. :)

      Thanks for the visit and I hope you are having a nice evening.

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      LKMore01 3 years ago

      Bill,

      Love this HUB! There are few musicians that I know who don't appreciate language and poetry and few writers I know who don't love music. We realize there is a flow and an eloquence to the words we speak and the stories we painstakingly craft. Writers are conducting their own symphonies with each paragraph. The two art forms are beautifully intertwined.

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      Connie Smith 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Thank you Billy for giving me permission to write the way I talk. Fragments are me! And now I know it's okay to dangle a participle once in a while, I feel a new sense of freedom. I played a mean picolo when I was in 8th grade--maybe I can remember that cool instrument when I write. Birds remind me of picolos!

      Awesome article as always and voted way Up++++

      ;) Pearl

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LK, they are indeed, and I think your point is a valid one. There is great overlap between the arts, and much appreciation from any artist for another artist....and that's as it should be. :) Thank you for the visit.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pearl, you love nature and birds so much.....let that love shine in your writing and you will find success. A big heart such as yours should not be confined by language but rather enhanced by it. :)

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      Lurana Brown 3 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      Excellent topic! I'm a musician and find that I most appreciate writing that has rhythm...repeated starting phrases, active sentence structure or that iambic pentameter style (da-dum, da-dum, da-dum, etc.) with a little variety thrown in for interest. Reading your own writing aloud is a great tip. Thanks for another helpful article on writing! :-) Lurana

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lurana, music has been in my background for fifty years, so it is understandable that I appreciate rhythm in writing. You have a leg up on many writers because of that same background.

      Thank you as always.

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      Whistler21 13 months ago

      Very cool Hub, thank you!

      I used to love writing as a youngster but as times passed by, I had different things to do. And now, trying to start again, I enjoy some helpful advices!

      But talking about the rhytm of writing, how about listening to real music while writing down a short story?

      I have tried something like this once, but became more comfortable with ordinaty nature sounds like that ones:

      https://hubpages.com/literature/Creative-writing-e...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSm3o6zHnf4&in...

      Do some of you use the same kind of soundtracks or what do you do?

      Because I'm still looking for my most comfortable writing ambient ;)

      Thanks for your Hub again and have a nice day!

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Whistler, thanks for the comment. I personally don't listen to anything when I write. For me it's distracting, but I'm in the minority when it comes to that. My personal opinion: use whatever it is that works for you.

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