Word Choices for Picture Books: Two by Two by Wordsmith Lisa Stauffer

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Word Option: Coming Granular With Read-Aloud Books

Guest post by Lisa Lowe Stauffer [amazon_link asins=’ 03107627 31′ template =’P roductAd’ place =’p atty0d- 20′ marketplace=’ US’ link_id=’ 707 ceb9b- 9a7b-11e8-8a2f-6f8a79434039 ‘] Twice I’ve had the opportunity to participate in Darcy Pattison’s Novel Metamorphosis retreat.

Although I gained a lot of great tips-off and intelligence, and have reworked several tales via the NOVEL METAMORPHOSISworkbook, one thing in particular that Darcy talked about blew me apart. At the 2006 withdraw, she marched us through how she word-smithed her portrait volume, 19 Daughters AND ME.

She talked about word hand-pickeds involving more than just moving the specific characteristics through the area. She considered hard-handed and soft consonants, and analyzed where phones were physically created in the mouth, so that the story and psychological arc could be fine-tuned even further. As someone who came from a just-the-facts journalism and market background, looking at words at this degree was a revelation to me.

For instance, I retain Darcy talking about choosing the word “yeti” instead of “abominable snowman.” Not simply is yeti easier to say, its final syllable is formed by handling the tongue to the roof of the mouth. When paired with “peak, ” as in the quotation “yeti’s peak” it’s as if the reverberate is clambering through your opening when you say the words.( Go ahead, say “yeti’s peak” out loud. See ?)

Making Poetry Sing!

So when endlessly reworking the rhyme that became the book TWO BY TWO, I recollected Darcy’s talk. And made that little song to a whole new level.

Here are some mottoes from my work as a few examples of what I learned 😛 TAGEND

In the first stanza, picking “shut” instead of “close” was an easy pick with its hard-handed t resolving mimicking the banging finality of a closed- door 😛 TAGEND

Two by two, Board the craft. Shut the door. Day to float.

This opening stanza is followed by another staid stanza setting up the jaunt. These first two stanzas’ precise meter reflects the beginning of the ark’s journey when Noah’s in charge. But then the apes take over and I convert the meter. The first text in this next section is the verb “scamper, ” which also fetches home the idea that the monkeys are pernicious scamps.

A few stanzas later the monkeys have given all the animals out to play, and it’s getting more and more chaotic on the ark 😛 TAGEND

Anaconda limbo, Tigers race in duets. Echo toss on the caribou, Pin the fanny on permits!

In this section, my oath picks included “Anaconda limbo” for the recurring a and o which fixes your tongue jiggle as if it’s limbo-ing, touching the roof of your mouth repeatedly. Plus the o terminating on “limbo” foliages the mouth open, functioning as a sort of questioning or astonished reverberate. Similarly the “ou” ending on caribou needles the reader’s cavity open.

Another line is “Kookaburras keep the beat” which is one of my favorites. It has a lot of hard-bitten consonants, two instances of alliteration, plus it exemplifies what it’s saying by having stressed and unstressed syllables that mimic a drum.( Say it out loud. See ?)

Near the end when the swine are leaving the ark, is the line “Tall and big zoom past.” This started as “Big and tiny, ” went through “Small and tall” which has the nice internal rhyme, and then ended as “Tall and small” because the initial t starts it off with a snappy resound which launchings the softer resounds that come after it. Plus since the line ends with “past, ” the two t seems bracket the line, delightful and crisp to show none of the swine were dawdling.

The Importance of the Last Line

Oh, and the key thing I learned from Darcy? It’s this: The last sentence and peculiarly the final word options will loiter in the reader’s brain, so end on a hard consonant.

The last-place way in TWO BY TWO is “Tuckered out at last.”

It’s rare that you get to reach out to a teacher who’s made a difference in your life. It’s been fun to write this blog announce about Darcy( I can feel her blush all the way in Atlanta) and how important she’s been to my writing journeying. Darcy, without your incisive, thoughtful, exhaustive learn, I wouldn’t have my first published bible.

( See how I aimed on a hard consonant ?)

Although Lisa Lowe Stauffer privately longed to write fiction, first she had to write her acces though journalism, market, consulting, and hurtle writing. When she’s not writing, she experiences traveling, in part because all those hours waiting at the airport are a great excuse to read more journals. Publication of TWO BY TWO( Zonderkidz, July 2018) eventually fulfills her childhood wish for a domesticated ape . . . at least in publish. Learn more at http :// lisalowestauffer.com.


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