How cow-razy is it that I have two cow books releasing within 6 months of each other? In celebration of Cow Says Meow’s book birthday, I’d like to talk about moooooosic in our manuscripts.
The sounds of certain words put together in harmony mooooove us, make us feel, change us and lead us to action. Making music with our words takes practice, and a good ear. But we can all learn to make our manuscripts sing! Here are three ways to infuse moooosic into your stories.
- Read your story aloud. Listen for sounds that go well together, sounds that make you stumble, sounds that delight your ears. Revise accordingly.
The assonance and rhyme in the title and first line of Cow Says Meow sounds mooooosical to me, which brings us to my second suggestion.
Cow says … Meow
- Infuse your story with poetic devices. Assonance, alliteration, rhyme, rhythm, onomatopoeia and wordplay make a story sound mooosical as you read it aloud. Cow Says Meow is an entire book up of mixed up onomatopoeia and animal wordplay.
“I can’t bear it!”
- Consider adding repetition or a refrain. Everyone loves singing along to a chorus–and kids especially love repeating a refrain. My first cow book, Mootilda’s Bad Mood has a refrain that gets longer and longer as the book progresses.
I’m in a bad moooooooooooooood!
As I spend time making my manuscripts more mooosical, my 15 year old daughter has written actual songs for my stories.
She was 14 when she wrote Mootilda’s song for my book, Mootilda’s Bad Mood. I cried the first time I heard Mootilda’s song, not only because it was more than I ever hoped for, but also because it had been 7 long years since I’d had a book release and somehow the chorus “I’m in a bad mood” resonated.
Here’s the song she wrote for Cow Says Meow. This one also made me cry. Also because it’s more than I ever hoped for. And something about it being okay to meow when you’re a cow really mooooooves me.
Tonight my daughter will perform the song live at my free virtual book launch. We’ll be singing, using puppets and illustrator Brandon James Scott will be drawing animal requests! Register now so I can make moooooosic at the launch with you (and the little people you love!)
Tonight, at 7pm EST, hosted by AN UNLIKELY STORY. Link is here!
To win a copy of COW SAYS MEOW, comment on this post. If you share on facebook or twitter, you get another entry. Giveaway closes in one week.
How do you infuse moooosic into your stories?