I’ve been thinking about rhythm today. (Along with a bunch of other things, some of which are unmentionable, but that’s my dirty mind and none of your beeswax.) Life has rhythm. The seasons, the sea, the passage of your day. Music. Traffic. The beat of your heart, your every waking breath. All rhythm.
But do you ever think about the rhythm of a book? The rise and fall of action, reaction, rest, and repeat. It’s there — in every chapter, every scene, and, if the book’s really good, every sentence, every word. There are the staccato notes of fear and anger. There’s the slow, even rise and fall of love and lovemaking that speeds and rises to its apex, and then…pauses…peaks….
…and crashed down in ever widening, and slowing waves of emotion…and motion. There is quiet. There is storm.
This weekend I’ve been plotting The Glass Asylum, the sequel to Girl Under Glass. And part of that process for me is understanding and charting the rhythm of the book — its sections, its chapters, scenes, pages, and, when I begin writing in earnest, every single sentence and word and syllable.
Open your favorite book. Pick a random page and begin reading aloud. Can you feel the rhythm? Yeah? Meee too.