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  • Writer's picture Beth Black

Internal Rhyme Comes Just in Time

Updated: Oct 28, 2021

There's a reason they call it wordplay. Study language enough, and it becomes play to choose tropes that express more than the action or setting. Trying to set up a lighthearted theme? Rhyme is one of the most enjoyable ways to bring the fun to life. For example, in my colleague's upcoming novel, The Taste of Truth; Candid Confessions of a Dedicated Liar, a character in the opening scene is trying to accomplish two goals. Devlin, a novice Wiccan, is attending an ad hoc ceremony designed to help a friend meet a nice guy on a blind date. But unfortunately, the rooster she needs to complete the ceremony has, well, flown the coop ... eluding her in a large hibiscus bush. So, she summons her wits and utters this incantation for divine help:

Yet the leaves here thicken,

While men’s hearts quicken —

I call on Zeus! Bring forth the chicken!

Okay, so it's not Shakespeare. But it's not meant to be. The name of the series is "Desperately Divine," and this is a prime example. Devlin's an English major who spends her time off from school concocting odd spells for her pals. Now, this spell uses a traditional rhyme scheme. However, I sometimes throw in an internal rhyme to spice up a line. Internal rhyme, as the name suggests, usually happens within the same line.

Later in the same chapter, two men (both Superior Court judges by trade) are gawking at the Wiccans who have been caught up in the moment while performing their ceremony. One of the men is thrilled:

But it was Robert who first regained the power of speech, blurting, “Wow! You’ve been keeping awesome secrets! Wait ‘til the guys down at the courthouse hear about this!” Then he leaped in to join the dance like an akimbo limbo game — legs bent in a wide stance, arms whipping vigorously and chugging along to the beat. “HUH! HUH! HUH!” he shouted on each lurch forward. The women didn’t seem happy to welcome him, but they continued anyway.

The Cat in the Hat

Sometimes rhymes write themselves, and sometimes I go online in search of help. Rhymezone is a pleasant diversion. Enjoy!

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