Is the rhythm gonna get me?

SciFrac

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I'm a drummer. Rhythm has always been important to me, and I recognize it everywhere. Now that I'm writing, I pay a lot of attention to the rhythm of words, and I really enjoy a well crafted sentence that provides a clear and interesting visual story. Bonus points for excellent rhythm.

This definitely consumes more time in the early first draft stage than it should, but I feel it makes a difference in the final product.

Do you pay attention to this as well? Does it make a big difference to whether you like a book or not?
 

Esfires

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Bad rhythm won't turn me away from a book, but it's definitely something that I pay attention to in my own writing. It really does make the first draft a little tedious when you're worried about the rhythm of ever sentence, but it makes editing go a lot faster.
 

Warren_Paul

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I don't particularly have this talent of yours to feel the "rhythm" of words. It's probably going to be something you have a greater ability for than the average person, but I suspect it does matter, and would likely have an effect on the pace of the story, which is very important. If you get the pace wrong, then the story doesn't flow as well as it should.

I think the average writer goes for tightness when editing sentences. What words can be cut out without loosing the meaning, can it be reworded to be shorter and still work? But I'd imagine to get the "rhythm" of a sentence right, tightness wouldn't necessarily be the way to go?

An interesting topic.
 

Abernovo

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Isn't this a similar idea to poetic prose (recently discussed)? Along with wordsmithery (it's a word, I just wrote it :p), you need to have them with the right flow. As a reader, I get quickly bored by 'he did this, she did that'. I need variance in the structure. Short and long sentences; Anglo-Saxon words mixed with Latinesque (for English literature).

It all creates a rhythm for reading, that can be adjusted according to the action in the scene.
 

SciFrac

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Aber: I'm sure there's a direct correlation between prose and rhythm. I suppose they are very close.

Thanks everyone. ;)
 

Dozmonic

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I read everything i write loud. I think i do it for rhythm, certinly for non clunkiness. I don't know if it works...

I think this is the key to having flowing text. If you struggle to read it aloud, it can probably be written better.
 

monsterchic

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I'm also a musician, and it drives me nuts if a sentence isn't flowing correctly, just as bad as an out-of-tune instrument. I have been known to spend hours on one sentence, making it flow just right :rolleyes:
 

Kissmequick

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I'm not a musician , but I really notice if a piece has a rhythm that's...off. It jars.

Good rhythm is a good part of writing smooth prose imo. If you have an ear for it, it really helps (if you don't, I pretend that James Earl Jones or Ian McKellan is reading it aloud. Does it roll off their tongue? Can they get their voice behind it? Or does it jerk? Ofc, every now and again you WANT it to jerk....)
 

idiot_prince

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I'm a drummer. Rhythm has always been important to me, and I recognize it everywhere. Now that I'm writing, I pay a lot of attention to the rhythm of words, and I really enjoy a well crafted sentence that provides a clear and interesting visual story. Bonus points for excellent rhythm.

This definitely consumes more time in the early first draft stage than it should, but I feel it makes a difference in the final product.

Do you pay attention to this as well? Does it make a big difference to whether you like a book or not?

i dont know if its the same thing but i like a book that flows from one paragraph to the next without feeling chopy and its very important to how well i like a book. i dont like feeling like i missed something from one sentence to the next.
 

chrispenycate

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I have a deep belief that rhythm in prose hits brain areas well below our conscious reading levels, and thus makes the reader/listener more open to the atmosphere we're attempting to project. Not in the same way that rhythm in a poem is almost hypnotic due to its repetitivity, but intensifying the experience by changing every time the action moves. A bit like the film music you never consciously hear, but draws your attention to the action and dialogue.

Not that I have entirely mastered it yet, but I do keep it permanently in mind.
 

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