When writing there is one area I am not great at leveraging. That's rhythm or meter. I don't hear meter naturally like some people do so I have to really break down the meter in order to work on it. And then what? I'm not even sure what I'm going to convey if I do manage to restructure the writing in a particular way. However, I am aware that it is a moderately useful tool and so I'd like to add it to my bag.

For instance, I know that very quick paced writing can add a feeling of breathlessness that can evoke excitement or anxiety.

Then what? I don't really know any others. That's the only one I've ever used.

What are some ways I can use the rhythm and meter of the words to evoke emotions beyond just what the words say?

  • Do I understand correctly that this would be an example of what you're trying to achieve? "In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl. A great black shape against the fires beyond he loomed up, grown to a vast menace of despair. In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl, under the archway that no enemy ever yet had passed, and all fled before his face." (J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, book 5, chapter 4 - The Siege of Gondor) – Galastel supports GoFundMonica Mar 4 '19 at 21:47
  • @Galastel It's hard for me to dissever what emotions are coming from the meter and what are coming from the word (both ideally) but I think so. (This is my biggest weakness, scansion was difficult for me in college) – Summer Mar 4 '19 at 21:51

Take a dance class.

I'm not joking. If you feel the rhythm in your body, you will be better able to evoke it on the page.

Going to dance performances is also helpful but you need to understand the feeling first before you can see how the professional do it.

It's not just the beat of the music in dance. It's the breath. The juxtaposition of quiet movement with the grande. Musicians and singers understand this as well. But dancers show it in every part of their bodies. Even without a sound.

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