This month–or at least after all the SCBWI doings–I caught up with a Writing in Rhyme class I won from Angie Karcher. Goodness, Angie really knows her stuff!
I, on the other hand, am not exactly a whiz at writing rhyme (though I like to try). I only have one picture book that’s in rhyme but I learned a whole bunch of stuff to make it better and my project for next month is to take that manuscript and polish it till it shines like a…a…well, see? I need a little work on imagery and such.
And maybe you’re interested in spiffing up a rhyming picture book. Or maybe you’re just interested in rhyming poetry. Boy, have I got a deal for you!
Technically, it’s not my deal. It’s Angie Karcher’s. Every April, she hosts RhyPiBoMo which is short for Rhyming Picture Book Month and holy moly (see what I did there?), you are not going to believe all the wonderful guest bloggers she’s scheduled!
Plus, she has all kinds of fun events and doings over there. And it’s ALL free! But mostly, I guarantee that you’ll learn a TON about rhyming picture books. So run like a Tasmanian Devil (see? I’m getting smarter already!) and register for RhyPiBoMo! (See you there!)
Whether you pen poetry or picture books or anything in between, understanding rhyme helps you write better. If you can get a good grasp of meter and beat and rhythm in your writing–whether you actually rhyme or not–your words will sing on the page.
But most of us fools just rush in where angels (and very experienced writers) fear to tread. That is to say, we write a rhyming poem or story and think, “Wheee! I’m brilliant!”
Sometimes, we are. Most of the time, we are not. And this is the royal “we” I’m using as I’m including my high-falootin’ self in this group. Honestly, I’ve always loved poetry. I loved poetry when I was just a wee, little child (A CHILD’S GARDEN OF VERSES was one of my favorite books!) and I read books of poetry through my elementary school years, to high school, to college and beyond. I have a book three inches thick of favorite poetry I’ve copied down that I still thumb through (and it includes my own poetry as well. Um…I skip those dreadful verses).
The point is, friends, loving verse and understanding how verse works is not the same. So if you’re way past your schooling years and those boring classes where you had to read poetry and mark scansion and such (which you totally never really got, anyway), you might be ready to look at poetry again and perhaps fall in love with verse (and improve your own). Here’s a good place to start: For Better For Verse.
And then you’ll be ready in April when RhyPiBoMo comes around.
Or maybe just ready to take a second look at that poem you wrote and thought was brilliant. You know, before you actually send it out into the world.