Thursday, August 22, 2013

As Simple as ABC

An idea popped into my head during a lovely nap on Saturday (though of course once the idea arrived, the nap had to be cut short which was most unfortunate.)

This particular idea indicated it would like to be told as an alphabet book in rhyme. A very demanding idea indeed!

I have not attempted an alphabet book yet. I admit it seemed like a reasonably easy endeavor. One only needs to think of 26 appropriately named items. And weave them in a story arc.  And incorporate them in alphabetical order.  And find a way to tie it in with perfect rhyme.  Easy Peasy!
(by wbd via sxc.hu)

As I sat at my desk (having abandoned the napping couch) trying to figure out the perfect word which started with "A," I realized I had been hoodwinked! The alphabet book is a challenging form full of rules. Though some rules can be broken, I fear starting an alphabet book with "A" is one you can't mess with. 

Luckily an "A" word finally appeared and helped to define the narrative even better.  Through the weekend I came up with words to fit 20 letters and a fun story!

But then...I arrived at the point ABC aficionados must have a name for - perhaps "The Dreaded UVWXYZ" or "The Point of Diminishing Options."  I had neglected to create a story involving ukuleles, xylophones, and zebras, causing quite a lot of trouble.

Finally, late last night I had an idea for "Z" which wasn't in the crossword solver list I had scanned repeatedly for days and in a fit of excitement I quite literally tossed my notebook in the air and yelled "that's it!" This is one of those many times the non-writer sleeping next to you gives you a very odd glance and grumbles. (This does happen to everyone, right?)

Now rhyming this story is no small task, and I know from experience it is unwise to invest in perfecting couplets if you may need to completely rewrite all of them. 'Tis a painful editing exercise indeed!  So I'm thinking about writing the story in prose first, offering it to the critique group, and then developing the rhyme. 

What say you rhyming writers out there about this approach?



14 comments:

  1. I do envy your knack for rhyming Laura and believe you can do it - you can make those clever rhymes once you know your storyline - good luck!

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    1. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

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  2. Good luck! I am glad you are doing great! :D

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    1. To be completely honest, though I was excited about finding a Z, I'm actually still missing a U & V word :)

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  3. That sounds like a fun project! Good luck!
    Violins are fun to play and violets are beautiful little flowers.
    Ugly is a bad word, but under a blanket is a fun place to play.
    ;)

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    1. Ooh ooh! Great U & V words! Can I go with suntan lotion to protect from UV rays and cover U & V all at once?

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  4. Gosh I love breakthroughs!

    Can you send one my way? ;-)

    PS U = underwear

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    1. Underwear just may work...hmmm. I'm cosmically sending you a breakthrough right now. I hope it arrives in time!

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  5. Great idea Lauri and congrats on winning a critique with Christie!

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    1. Thanks Catherine! If a rhyming extraordinaire like yourself says start with the prose, I'll try it.

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  6. Ahh, great things come out of "exercises in writing." That's how I came up with Fishing ABC story. Google was my best friend for finding words. Writing it in prose first is an excellent way to start. The Metermaids offered that important tip!
    BTW, congratulations, you two-timing Lucky Clover Winner!!!

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    1. Thank you! You made your fishing ABC look so easy, you hooked me on ABC and I'm afraid I'll be sunk by it!

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  7. Ooph -sounds so complicated! My head hurts already. You can do it, Lauri!

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    1. Story + ABC + Rhyme is proving to be a big challenge. If I could just lock in the first page, then I know I'd be rolling!

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