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How to Write Poetic Prose: The Sound of Words

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We’ve all met them: those writers who effortlessly write beautiful, flowing, rhythmic prose. Those writers who make sound with words we’ve never even heard before, who manage to reflect emotion with the way they arrange the narrative. A “natural ear” for this kind of thing is probably what a lot of people call “talent,” but it’s more than possible to learn how to recognize it in your own writing.

This is an exercise to show you how even prose writers can use sound as a tool in their prose. The repetition of sound patterns is something that many writers do naturally, but I’ve heard some say that the ‘poetic’ style just isn’t their thing or that they can’t do it, etc, etc. And though I know prose writers often opt for simplicity rather than flowery, harder-to-understand prose, there are still things you can do, even as a genre writer, to increase the efficacy of your words.

For this, I have opted to use the following line of my own work. When I start highlighting all the phonetic patterns, it starts to look something like this:

They glistened like ice and rubies, their celestial bodies alight but not charring, cloaked with flames that stained the shadows red.

If you’re interested in what all this means and how it can potentially help create or see the rhythm in your own prose, then please click the link below to read the post in its entirety:

How to Write Poetic Prose: The Sound of Words


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