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I’ve been thinking a lot about rhythm and timing lately. I’m posing these questions simply as an invitation for you to think about them, too.

It’s easier to imagine being inventive and playful with rhythm in fiction than in nonfiction, but why should fiction writers (and readers) get all the fun?

What would this video’s timing look like in nonfiction? (Click the photo to see the video on Twitter.)

Screen shot of a tweet from Jon Lawson, with a video still of a train tunnel with two openings.

Where does rhythm live? In sentence structure and length, punctuation, paragraph and line breaks. In word choice—selecting voluptuous versus crisp adjectives, for example. Where else?

Where and when do you deliberately vary your habitual rhythms, and to what effect?

How can you calibrate your rhythms to keep your readers awake, attentive, engaged?

Rhythm is in the writing, but in the reading, too. Have you read your work out loud to test its rhythm and music aloud? 

This one’s not rhetorical: Where do you attend to or investigate rhythm and timing in your writing? Want to share an example? Want to ask a question about it? I’m here, and I’m curious. Join me in the comments or send me an email.

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