Catherine Emmett – Top 5 Tips For Writing In Rhyme

SO delighted to be hosting today’s blog tour guest post – Top 5 Tips for Writing In Rhyme – by the Queen of Rhyme herself, the inimitable @catherine_emmett_author!

A must read for all picture book people!

Catherine’s latest book The Rainbow Flamingo is written in the author’s signature FLAWLESS rhyme. It’s all about embracing your true self and shows us that, when we (be it people or flamingoes) are brave enough to show others who we really are, those around us feel comfortable sharing their true colours too. A wonderfully uplifting tale for all, beautifully illustrated in an explosion of long legs and bright colours by the amazing Claire Powell!

Check out Catherine’s guest post to learn how to boost your own rhyming power and make sure to follow the rest of the tour!



Let the rhythm take you

For me, the real joy of rhyme is getting those initial lines of text and seeing where they lead – to get a story started, it’s good to sometimes just see where the rhyme takes you. Eventually you need to make sure that you haven’t got any rhymes in there that aren’t moving the story forward, but to start with sometimes it’s nice to let the words flow. Trying to have a commercial conceptith international appeal and series potential can all sometimes seem a bit ‘uncreative’, so sometimes it’s nice to just shake off the shackles and let the words flow.

Wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care

The more you can embed your metre in your head the better. Writing with strong metre is like muscle memory and the more you do it, the easier it gets. Tapping out your metre as you write or waving your fingers in the air as you write can really help to get your brain ‘thinking’ in rhyme. It just makes you look a bit silly.

Get off your phone

Phones really are the enemy of creativity. Ideas (and rhymes) are created in the in-between times, when you’re waiting for a bus or walking on the school run. Reread your work in your head and let your brain test it out – often I find my brain will reorder a sentence to make a line better if I repeat it often enough. Let your mind wander and exercise that rhyming muscle. The more you let the text sit in your head the more easily you’ll be able to find the right rhymes when you need them. You need to start to THINK in rhyme and then it will become second nature.

Get zooming

Sometimes you can get stuck on a rhyme and you can’t see any way to fix it. Try and imagine that you’re looking at your story through a microscope. If you’re thinking about a child walking to school and can’t find a rhyme, can you ZOOM IN to look more closely at the scene? Talk about the puddles that they splash through and the bugs that they spot on a leaf. Or can you ZOOM OUT and talk about the crisp winter air and the cotton wool clouds in the sky? Zooming in and out can be a great way to unstick a rhyme.

Believe in yourself

It can sometimes feel as though it’s impossible to make a piece of rhyme better. Sometimes I send off a story and am filled with dread at the thought of being asked to edit a particular piece of text as there is no possible way that I can improve it. But you can guarantee that my agent or editor will sniff out that bit of rhyme that isn’t quite as good as it can be and ask me to change it. And you know what? Once I’ve given a text a rest and been away from it for a little while, I can always find something better. So, believe in yourself. Give yourself a little bit of time away from a text and when you go back, you’ll see different ways of approaching it and making it better. I promise.

























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