Rhythm

Composing a sentence is like composing music. You must be attentive to the notes, the tempo and the rhythm. There is rhythm in every sentence: we know that there is metre in poetry but it also exists in prose. There is rhythm within every word; an example of which is the accent with which it is spoken. There is also rhythm within every page, every chapter and even within an entire book. Writing is about rhythm and rhythm is articulated by punctuation (which we will talk about in a future post): short, syncopated sentences create a specific effect in the reader, while long sentences and extended lists create another.

Rhythm in sentences is created by various elements including: where we place our adjectives; if we begin a sentence with “and” or “but” to intensify its connection with the preceding sentence; if we use many verbs in the passive form; and if we start a new paragraph often. Every good writer also has a good musician within!

Claudio Visentin and Guido Bosticco

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