Does a Writer Need Rhythm?

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Several years ago I joined an online writers group where a published author posed the thought for a couple days and others responded.
When we talked about pacing, author Brandilyn Collins said:
I base my opinions on the fact that the actual wording of a sentence creates a rhythm within the reader. We live by rhythm. It’s so common to us we don’t realize it. But as writers we need to understand how to use sentence rhythm to create a desired effect in a scene.
When we are scared, our hearts beat faster. We tense. Our eyes move more quickly. Everything about our bodies picks up a heightened rhythm. In creating an aura in a scene, we need to pay attention to the rhythm of our readers.
I pulled a couple books from my shelf to see if I could sense what Ms. Collins calls rhythm.
“Why are you here?” she asked him.
“His Majesty has summoned you to the throne room.” He gestured to the

door and waited for her to lead the way.

Abijah’s heart began to race. Ahaz had never summoned her to the throne room before. “Perhaps…would he like to see his new son?” she asked.
“The king said nothing about his son. He sent for you.” (Austin, Lynn; God’s & Kings page 190.)
We can feel the tension in only those few words. And what about this short scene:
Miles passed by.
“I think I’d like to kiss you good-night sometimes.”
“I heard that smile.”
“Did you expect me to say no?”
“I’m just thinking about it.”
Bryce glanced over. Her eyes were closed and she was drifting. He smiled, and didn’t break the silence. He was thinking about it too.
Slower paced—awe, but feel the rhythm.  (Henderson, Dee; Unspoken; pg 358)
Kat Crawford

Kat Crawford

Katherine J. Crawford, author of Capsules of Hope: Survival Guide for Caregivers, is published in sixteen compilations and numerous articles. Known as the Lionhearted Kat, she resides in Omaha, Nebraska. Visit Kat’s website her journal through breast cancer and the loss of her husband: www.caringgiver/visit/org.
Kat Crawford

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