Consonance

Consonance is the relationship between words in which the final consonants in the stressed syllables agree but the vowels that preceded them differ. A form of repetition used in prose and poetry. (A Handbook to Literature)

Consonance Writing Exercise

Choose a section of summary narration you are currently revising and would like to make more lyrical. Spend a few minutes reciting the section aloud. Listen to the pattern of the syllables. Study the intended effect of the language. Does the section want a languid sort of flow or a more Stacatto effect? If the former, consider replacing the diction with words that use soft sounds in the stressed syllables: b, d, f, s, m, n…. If the latter, consider replacing the diction with words that use hard sounds in the stressed syllables: t, k…. After revising the diction, read the section aloud, again. Does the change in diction affect your intended atmosphere?

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Sources

The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the PresentEric Kandel.

A Handbook to Literature. William Harmon.

“Cogito et Histoire de la Folie.” Jacques Derrida.

Cognitive Neuropsychology Section, Laboratory of Brain and Cognition.

Eats Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. Lynne Truss.

The Elements of Style. William Strunk. 

New Oxford American DictionaryEdited by Angus Stevenson and Christine A. Lindberg.

The Norton Anthology of World LiteratureMartin Puchner, et al.

The Norton Introduction to PhilosophyGideon Rosen and Alex Byrne.

Woe is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English. Patricia T. O’Conner

Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft. Janet Burroway, Elizabeth Stuckey-French & Ned Stuckey-French.

Writing the Other. Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward.

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