Margaret Fieland: Poetry and Prose

Guest Post: Alliteration in Literature

Posted in authors,Children's writing,language,Uncategorized,writing process by Administrator on the April 4th, 2011

Today I’m delighted to host Jennifer (J.R.) Turner on my blog.

Award-winning author J.R. Turner lives in Central Wisconsin with her husband and three children. She began writing in high school, and after a decade working as a commercial artist, started her first novel in 1999. Aside from crafts, camping and cooking, she loves holidays. A favorite is Halloween, a combination of spooky supernatural fun and chocolate. Visit her at to learn more!
Alliteration in Literature

Writing is a journey—and often this journey takes us places we never thought we would go. I enjoyed poetry in my teens and played with the different forms and variations over the years. In fact, the very first time I wrote something I was proud of, (in 2nd grade, bless you Mrs. Sanders!) turned out to be a poem:

1-2-3 Birthday wishes go so fast
Like the breeze in the willows
Dancing among the grass

As you can see, I never forgot those three lines. Of course I used slant rhyme and my meter was way off, but this began my love affair with alliteration. The way words can come together, sounding so similar, intrigues me to no end. When I write, I often fall back on alliteration to heighten the pace or the sense of place. There’s a difference between the lines:

The farmer struggled to control the tractor and steer it away from the derelict henhouse.

The farmer fought for control of the tractor, turning to avoid destroying the derelict henhouse.

For me, the more the words slide together, the less intrusive they are. My mind can melt into the story and forget I’m reading. You’ll find tons of this in all my books and short stories, and yes, even in those few poems I still write today. Just look at the title of my new series:

Delbert Dallas and the Dragon Diaries: #1 Voyage to Viking Island (link: )

#1: Voyage to Viking Island—Release Date: March 22nd.
When the new guitar Delbert Dallas got for his birthday turns into a dragon named Barbecue Bob, the adventures are just beginning. First stop—Viking Island where Prince Rolloff is running away from his wedding—at the age of twelve. A Viking afraid of a girl? Even more shocking is Rolloff’s new best friend.

Walter Wheeler, a bully held back two grades, has discovered his own time-traveling dragon, Firebrand. When the prince offers a bag full of gold to get him off the island, Walter happily accepts, once he hears the plan is to escape on the royal longboat. Not only will he take Rolloff’s gold, he’ll take all the treasure on board.

Can Delbert convince Prince Rolloff that Walter Wheeler is no valiant Viking in shining armor? How do you explain a dragon named Bob to a Prince? What will happen when the rival dragons meet snout to snout? Find out in the first adventure of Delbert Dallas and the Dragon Diaries.

Each story in the series will be released on the 22nd of each month:

#2 Civil War Skirmish
#3 Viva La Francine!

The first in a series of once-monthly releases for reluctant readers, part of the Electric Shorts program for middle-grade kids, is just the beginning of the fun I have writing with alliteration. So what do you think? Do you enjoy reading or writing with allitearation?

Thanks so much for having me here, Margaret!


13 Responses to 'Guest Post: Alliteration in Literature'

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  1. J.R. Turner said,

    on April 4th, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Thanks bunches for having me! I’m looking forward to seeing comments and replying to everyone! Have a fabulous Monday! :)


  2. Karen Cioffi said,

    on April 4th, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Great post. I agree with you about the fascination of how words can meld together to create something greater than their separate parts – synergy!

    Karen Cioffi recently posted..Websites That Work – 7 Key Factors Part 1My ComLuv Profile

  3. The Old Silly said,

    on April 4th, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Enjoyed the post and reading about the early “alliteration” of Jennifer. Keep at it, you obviously have the talent and passion for writing! :-)

    Marvin D Wilson
    The Old Silly recently posted..Hey Illegal Immigrants – Come to the USA!My ComLuv Profile

  4. Donna McDine said,

    on April 4th, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    When the words come together it is fascinating how we immerge ourselves into the story. Keep up the great work!

    Children’s Author
    Write What Inspires You Blog
    The Golden Pathway Story book Blog
    Donna M. McDine’s Website
    Don’t have time to write and post your media releases? Contact: Dynamic Media Release Services

  5. Carolyn Howard-Johnson said,

    on April 4th, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    I love alliteration, too. In fact, I encourage authors to use it in their e-mail subject lines when they are sending out media releases–when it’s appropriate of course! The idea is to catch editors’ attention–enough that they’ll open and read the e-mail, right? (-:
    Carolyn Howard-Johnson
    Blogging writers’ resources at Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites pick

  6. Queen of English said,

    on April 4th, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    1-2-3 Birthday wishes go so fast
    Like the breeze in the willows
    Dancing among the grass

    Actually you have alliteration of vowel sounds — that’s called assonance.
    Alliteration is repetition of initial consonant sounds. For instance, Peter Piper…..

  7. Heidi M. Thomas said,

    on April 4th, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    Alliteration is fun for kids. Good post. Thanks.

  8. Marietta Taylor said,

    on April 5th, 2011 at 1:26 am

    I enjoy reading alliteration. And I enjoy your idea of short works. Middle schoolers (and even some adults!) can have such short attention spans.

  9. kathy stemke said,

    on April 5th, 2011 at 2:57 am

    Reading words that flow together is like drinking a hot chocolate in front of a blazing fire on a cold winter morning.
    kathy stemke recently posted..C is for Childrens books! CRASH &amp CIRCULATION CELEBRATIONMy ComLuv Profile

  10. Magdalena Ball said,

    on April 5th, 2011 at 7:56 am

    Of course as a poet, alliteration is a key part of my toolkit. I love the rhythm of it, and the easy way it reads outloud. Thanks for some excellent examples :-)

  11. Martha said,

    on April 5th, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Great post. Lots of fun to read.
    Martha Swirzinski

  12. VS Grenier said,

    on April 6th, 2011 at 6:34 am

    Writing poetry isn’t my thing, however, I love reading it and understand when it works and doesn’t. I think all writing is like that though. Thanks for such a great post and one I’m going to share with my readers.

  13. Huey Clasen said,

    on April 24th, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Appreciating the time and effort you put into your blog and in depth information you provide. It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same outdated rehashed material. Fantastic read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

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