Now, I can’t remember everything school taught me. It seems, after I left college, my brain thought ‘well I won’t be needing that anymore!’ and bagged up most of the things I took years learning and then dumped them in the unreachable places of my mind. What I can say, however, is that I have remembered the things I need for my business. Phew! So, here’s how I apply my English language and literature a-level to my copywriting still today. The main thing I consider is….RYTHM!
The consideration of rhythm in your writing can influence the way your reader feels, make your writing more enjoyable to read, put stress on important parts of your writing and get your reader coming back.
Ways of influencing the rhythm in your copywriting include the; 1. Length of your sentences.
By varying your sentances in length you aid to the flow and tempo of what you write. Shorter more concise sentances create a faster tempo and longer sentances the opposite. This can be the difference between your writing 'dragging' along or not. As our intention is to keep the reader engaged, I would recommend you keep an eye on how long and short your sentances are for this very reason so place your punctuation wisely.
2. Choice in words (For example, the syllables in each word and how each word bounces off one another to create the desired effect)
In poetry the amount of syllables per word is considered as a way of creating rhythm. They are also known as the very foundations of our writing and speech as they bounce and twirl and skip and prance to give us the very effect we desire. For example, let's try that again....'as they bounce, twirling, and prance along' - the word 'twirling' is two syllables and not one which breaks up the pattern of the words. The previous choice in words and the repetition of the same syllable is therefore the better option of the two. 3. Stressing certain words with italics, bold lettering, capitals or ellipses (a … pause)
We all like a dramatic pause, in either a movie, a conversation, a book, etc and that's the same in writing. Adding pauses or stresses on particular words can disturb a sentances rhythm drawing attention to those particular points in the sentance. So, one to try.
4. Structure of the overall piece of writing Just like in poetry, the writer will consider the journey they want the reader to take. Sometimes that means taking the reader right back to the beginning again by finishing how you started your story, post, article etc. This can really help emphasise a particular message so consider the structure or order of your words to play into the overall rhythm.
And, you can discover how your writing feels and sounds by reading your piece aloud and in your head. Here, you will be able to intuitively tell if certain sentences need shortening, words changing, or rhythm adding. The main purpose of good rhythm, overall, is to keep your reader engaged either aloud or in their head. So, consider the fact your writing may be read in either way. For example, sometimes we forget that, although we may be reading in our head, our body still knows when a breath needs to be taken. So, if you have a series of super long sentences you may find your reader feeling somewhat mentally exhausted. Nobody likes a big bunch of text either!
Rhyme also injects more fun into your writing.
We are brought up reading stories, most of which are poetic when we are children. We, everyday, I know I do, also listen to music which too considers rhythm. If you would like to inject more engaging rhythm then you could therefore consider subtly rhyming your words to play into the tempo or tone you want to create.
Here are a few examples of my own posts that consider rhyme and rhythm to make the reader feel a certain way. On my personal account this is usually motivation.
So, you could say, considering rhythm is indeed, quite, very, important after all 😉
Thanks for reading guys! Let me know if you'll be considering this in your future writing below.
(Did you spot the rhyme?) ;)