Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Rhyming Picture Books--Commencement Addresses into Musicals

If you want to be a picture book writer, then you've most likely thought once or twice about writing in rhyme. I know I have.

Why, may I ask, do we do this to ourselves? It's like taking something already difficult, like giving a commencement address, and then attempting to write it in the form of a song as if you were living your life in a musical. Fantastic (maybe) if you pull it off, but most likely doomed to embarrassing failure.

The thing is, well done rhyming picture books are fun to read, entertaining, and memorable. Something we all want our picture books to be, so I occasionally strive to reach that pinnacle of picture book perfection. I haven't made it yet.

But now I'm armed with this:

RhymeWeaver.com by Lane Fredrickson.

I can't say it will turn my embarrassing failures into bestsellers, but after going through this entire easy and fun to read site, I know a great deal more than I did before.

Counting syllables? Pointless. Soft rhyme? Don't do it. Meter? At least I know what it is now, even though I thought I already did--and not just meter's definition, but why it works, how it works, and how to fudge with it when necessary.

I now know why certain lines of rhyming picture books don't sound right to me, and how to avoid those same problems. But hey, those books got published. Maybe someday, now, mine will too.

If there are other websites that teach how to write a great rhyming picture book, I'd love you to post them for me.

And, by the way, I actually did give a commencement address in the form of a poem. Yes, it was very embarrassing. At least I didn't sing it.


  1. Cool. I especially love the idea of fudging when necessary.

    And I bow before all PB writers. It is one tough genre--well, at least, to do well.

  2. Wow, I didn't know there was a site that could help with this. Now I'm off to check it out! Great post, and I think you rhyme beautifully!

  3. Thanks guys! I've now gone completely through the site and it was simple yet entertaining and full of excellent info.

    Z--Rhyme, maybe. Meter ack!