What can you do when you are in the flow, writing a killer poem, and you get stuck because you can’t find the right rhyme? This is classic poet writer’s block. Below are my tried and true tips, along with links to rhyming resources.
Roses are red, violets are orange… nothing rhymes with orange!
TIP #1 – USE A DIFFERENT WORD
Rewrite the line. The orange violet example could become: “Roses are red, violets are cool, my rhyme schemes will make you drool”
TIP #2 – CHANGE THE ORDER
The classic “Roses are red” poem rhymes the 2nd and 4th lines. This could be rewritten as: “Violets are blue, roses are red, sugar is sweet, she loves me, she said!”
TIP #3 – CONSONANT COMBINATIONS & PREFIXES
We usually make a quick run through the alphabet. If we were striving to rhyme the word “red,” we would quickly find: bed, bled, cred, dead, fed, and so forth. I also recommend that you add the following combinations and prefixes to your rhyming arsenal:
Sl Bl Ch Br Pl
St Br Cl Fl Pr
Tr Con Dis Ex Mis Pre
Th De En In Non Re
TIP #4 – THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT
I personally do not use rhyming apps, but you can find free rhyming apps for your smart phone. Droid has B-Rhymes which includes suggestions for near-rhymes. For the iphone and ipad, RhymeNow has a free edition with over 55,000 words.
TIP #5 – NEAR RHYMES AND HALF RHYMES
Simple words like “red” and “you” have scores of rhymes, but other words are more difficult. A near rhyme will often suffice; for example, a near-rhyme for “orange” is “challenge.”
TIP #6 – NEW WORDS
What is even more fun is to create your own new word. My mother was masterful at this technique. In a poem about children enjoying a snowy day, the children warm themselves with “steaming cups of choke-a-lot.”
The primary sites that I use for rhymes are:
Rhyme Zone: http://rhymezone.com
Remember that not every poem needs to rhyme, but it can be challenging and fun. Don’t let poet writer’s block keep you from completing a killer poem. Do you have a rhyming tip that you would like to share? Leave a comment, I would love to hear from you. Keep writing and keep sharing!