Common Rhyme & Meter errors

EDITING SERVICE SALEWell half price July was a huge success with over 40 poems and stories in verse now tight as a drum!

I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who sent their manuscripts in – it really can be a daunting thing to do and I appreciate you trusting your work with me.

After reading so much rhyme and meter I thought it might be useful for me to point out some of the more common errors that I came across, without naming names of course.

Ok – here is a rhyming couplet

But jumping was the only thing that brought Peter joy
He just jumped so much that his parents he would annoy

Does it rhyme? Yes it does. Does it have a predictable meter? Not really. And is it written the way we would speak naturally or has it been twisted to fit the rhyme? I would say yes, the second line has been written in a convoluted manner and as such sounds forced. In natural speech we would be more likely to say –

He jumped so much that he annoyed his parents.

But written this way – it doesn’t rhyme with ‘joy’.

So how can we fix it?

The first thing that I like to do is to insert all the syllables into a grid like so…

GridsWhat I’m looking for is a pattern made with the columns. Columns should be all red or all black. As you can see, at the moment, there is no discernible pattern. Which means there is no beat (the stressed syllables provide the beat) which means there is no meter, no tune if you like.

So what might I suggest?

Grids 2If we look closely we can see that the words (or part there of) that are stressed are the ones that give the sentence meaning. So in the first line we have

jump, only, Peter, enjoyed

and in the second line we have

parents, grumpy, very, annoyed

so even though we are missing 9 words we can still make sense of what is being said.

So if we can work out which syllables are stressed we can see from these grids where and why the meter is or isn’t working.

rhyme like the experts2


If you are intrigued by this you might be interested in my booklet ‘Rhyme Like the Experts’. This goes into a little more detail about writing in rhyme and meter but is written simply and quite easy to understand and only $10

To purchase a copy, you can do so via PayPal by clicking the hyperlink or email me for details to pay via direct debit, cheque or money order.

My email address is

And to finish off – here is what some of my clients had to say of my editing service…thanks everyone.


3 thoughts on “Common Rhyme & Meter errors

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s