Creative Writing

 

Creative Writing Glossary*

Even if creative writing comes easily to you, the lingo often doesn’t. If you need help distinguishing syntax from a stanza, consult the glossary below for all your creative writing needs.


Glossary Index

Alliteration
Ascend
Assonance

Beginning Rhyme

Cadence
Caesura
Cinquain
Couplet

Descend
Dissonance

End Rhyme
End-stopped
Enjambment

Eye Rhyme

Foot

Imagery
Internal Rhyme

Metaphor
Meter
Mimetic

Octave
Onomatopoetic

Personification
Point of View
Punctuation

Quatrain

Rhyme

Scansion
Septet
Sestet

Simile
Slant Rhyme
Stanza
Syntax

True Rhyme

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Sound Devices

Mimetic: words that suggest their meanings by the sounds that they make (ex: chunk or sleazy)

Onomatopoetic: words that imitate their meanings by the sounds that they make (ex: splash or boom)

Alliteration: the repetition of initial consonant sounds in two or more words in a line or phrase (ex: Sally sells sea shells by the sea shore)

Dissonance: harsh sounds that can be added to a poem through alliteration

Assonance: the repetition of vowel sounds (ex: the w ine became the n ight)

  • Ascend: the vowels in a poem move from low, rich o's and u's to short i's and long e's.
  • Descend: the vowels move from short i's and long e's to low, rich o's and u's.

Rhyme: two or more words with the same sound

  • End rhyme: rhyme that comes at the end of a line of poetry. This is the most obvious rhyme pattern. End rhyme often takes over the poem and makes it sound forced and awkward.
  • Beginning rhyme: rhyme that occurs in the first syllable of the line
  • Internal rhyme: rhyme that occurs within a line or lines
  • True rhyme: the correlation of sound in the accented syllables of the words and the syllables which follow them (ex: wood and good, eaten and beaten)
  • Eye rhyme: words that look like they rhyme on paper but actually do not when they are read aloud (ex: cough and though)
  • Slant rhyme: rhyme that is imperfect, typically in the vowel sounds (ex: body and bloody)
  • Syntax: word order within a poem. You can alter meaning in a poem by switching around the syntax to create irony or confusion.

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The Rhythm of Poetry

Cadence: the natural sound pattern created by the spoken word

Meter: the recurrence of a pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables

  • Scansion: the process of examining a poem's metrical pattern and deviation from the pattern
  • Foot: the basic unit of measure. This is a combination of stressed and/or unstressed syllables

Stanza: a certain number of lines grouped together which usually forms a pattern throughout the poem. Common stanza forms are

  • Couplet: two-line stanza
  • Tercet: three-line stanza
  • Quatrain: four-line stanza
  • Cinquain: five-line stanza
  • Sestet: six-line stanza
  • Septet: seven-line stanza
  • Octave: eight-line stanza
  • Punctuation: can be manipulated to change rhythm. Types:
  • End-stopped: when punctuation occurs at the end of a line
  • Run-on/enjambment : when there is no punctuation at the end of a line
  • Caesura : within a line of the poem; it usually divides a foot and is in the middle of the line.

Punctuation: can be manipulated to change rhythm. Types:

  • End-stopped: when punctuation occurs at the end of a line
  • Run-on/enjambment : when there is no punctuation at the end of a line
  • Caesura : within a line of the poem; it usually divides a foot and is in the middle of the line

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Other Devices

Imagery : Words or phrases that appeal to any sense of any combination of the five senses 2 (ex: blinding or salty)

Personification: Gives non-human things human traits (ex: the tree was sad)

Point of View: The perspective from which the poem is being narrated or told

Simile: Compares two objects which usually uses like or as. (ex: He is as loud as thunder)

Metaphor: Compares two objects that may use words such as is or was (ex: This house is a dump)

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*Sources:

Candace Schaefer and Rick Diamond. The Creative Writing Guide. New York: Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers, 1998.

Sunda. "Glossary of Poetic Devices." The Poet's Bookshelf. 06 Jan 2007. <http://www.kyrene.k12.az.us/schools/brisas/sunda/poets/poetry2.htm>


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