Rhyme and Metre

I’m currently struggling to write a rhyming picture book. The rhymes are acceptable, but the rhythm is off.

New writers are discouraged to write rhyming books because they’re

  1. hard to do well,
  2. publishers hate them (see point 1),
  3. and they’re notoriously difficult to translate, so your international market is restricted (which is also why publishers hate them, point 2).

But I’m writing an educational book about an Assistance puppy, and because the story is a bit drier, without the usual silliness and hijinks I normally write, I decided that rhyming would improve its repeat readability.

So, on my journey to become a better writer, I’ve collected a range of go to resources for rhyme and metre for those who are on a similar journey:

Writing rhyming children’s books  »

Rhyming is all about rhythm »

What is Meter? »

This video series by Lyrical Language Lab is excellent, and helps you to understand stressed syllables and when it’s acceptable to break rhythm patterns.


RhymeZone has a great library of rhyming and close rhyming words.

And of course a thesaurus is invaluable to find an alternative to “discombobulated” that rhymes with “house”.

The Syllable Separator is an easy to use tool that will do most of the hard work of breaking your work into syllables. It’s not perfect, so check the results before you get started.

Finally, most dictionaries have a tool to let you determine the primary and secondary stressed syllable, but WordSmyth is the easiest to interpret.

Finally, Jacki Hoskings has a self-paced course called Meter Matters, which has been highly recommended to me, but which I can’t afford because I’m writing the assistance dog book gratis for Assistance Dogs Australia.