Writing with rhythm

Dropping those phat beats. My career is wrapped around writing. Writing is where I got my start, and it’s where I have made my profession.

Writing, to me, has a rhythm and maybe not the rhyme. It has reason. There has to be a purpose to pull the reader in and keep him there, reading word after word.

It is something I worked with young writers some 20 years ago when I was an assistant news editor at my school newspaper. I wanted to help bridge the gap from straight reporting that was written in a lifeless way to one where you could get a glimpse of a writer’s voice.

My personal progression with writing went from beyond a voice. There needed to be more. There needs to be heart. There needs to be soul.

Writing without soul fails to connect to a reader.

Writing with soul is done through the varying rhythms that can occur naturally in prose. I am particularly fond of music with drive, music that has a drumbeat that pushes you onward. At times, I try to mimic that drumbeat through my writing.

Sometimes, I shoot something more lyrical. Something akin to an uplifting ballad or the somber tones that can populate other music. It can be done through literary devices.

Experience has helped to refine my views on writing. Those experiences of failing and trying again are at the root. There have been conferences and seminars after traditional college, too, that have opened doors.

My son and his hockey teammate were debating me as to why poems suck. My point to them was poems just aren’t set to music. They didn’t understand or want to understand that the stories being told through music are simply poems.

The writing I did turns a story in a poem on its head. Using varying cadences, you can whisk a reader through a story or you can bog a reader down. You can vary those things, too. No music, no rhymes but a clear beat.

I used to say to writers that I envision my stories like a boxing match. I jab with information and tidbits until I set up the big punch or comment. Boxers aim for the right combination to carry through, and those combos depend on rhythm and feel of the fight.

Writing can have a beat. Doing it with a heartbeat, with soul, brings it to life.


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