Sunday, May 17, 2009

Praise for prose

Years ago when I was younger than I am now I wrote my first (and only) picture book manuscript in rhyme. The rhyme is elegant and trips the light fantastic. But it is lofty.

The story concerns a gargoyle with a gift, and an original, universal theme/premise. Great.


the plot is still looking for some trouble; and the resolution walked away in a huff. The remaining manuscript put out a want ad for a great ending but so far not one satisfying ending has surfaced.

I digress.

Any preschooler will slip into early naptime on dad's lap after the first stanza. And then dad's feet will fall asleep and he won't be able to get up. Any early primary child's eyes will become permanently crossed and his hearing impaired.

The writing is so beautiful for adults or anyone who has survived the middle ages.

(I look at this masterpiece and I think I will tea-stain it and send it to a monastery. Or make it into an illumination. It is so beautiful.)

For me prose with plot is hard enough but worth the effort because plotting is fun if you work at it. It will come. (This particular one is just being stubborn.)

Point: Rhyme is best bestowed on professional rhymers who are discerning, remember pre-school and the love of sounds, or are clever enough with humor/vocabulary for school age picture book readers...but most of all patient. And can handle rhyme with plot if necessary. And to make the language and meaning full... not empty.

To me it is a hindrance. To me it is hard.

I thank the leader of my first critique group for nipping this rhyme urge in the bud... early and candidly, and for helping me to put it to bed for an extended nap. Save the children.

(Now if I can ever solve my Gargoyle picture book problems it won't be too soon. It is calling me again. And when it calls I answer.)

Happy prose!

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