Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It's Writer's Wednesday and Rhyming Stories have been a frequent topic for questions lately. Rhyming books are some of my favorite read-aloud stories, but they are often a tough sell with publishers. Why?

The answer I hear from editors most often is that the writer has gotten so caught up in the cleverness of their rhymes that they've neglected to tell a good story.

One of the best suggestions I know is to set the rhyme aside and just write the story. Is it well plotted with conflict or a problem that is resolved in a satisfying and/or surprising ending? Are the characters interesting? Is the language appropriate to the story and engaging for the reader? Once you have a well-crafted story you may find that the rhyme is unnecessary. And if you are determined to use rhyme you can do that secure in the knowledge that you've created a solid story.

Another consideration that editors have is word count. Keep in mind that in the process of developing a rhyming text there is often a tendency to become more wordy than is necessary to tell the story. It's another pitfall you want to avoid on the way to completing a story that will enjoy publishing success.

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