Cadence: 1.the rhythmic flow of a sequence of sounds or words
Ever notice, how when listening to someone you’ve known for decades tell yet another one of their stories, you hear their words and yet nothing of what they say.
You hear the cadence of their voice lulling you into a stupor and you know ahead of time where their tone will change, rise, fall; you know where they’ll pause to perform some personal habit–sipping coffee, tucking hair behind ears, blowing a bulbous nose.
You know as you ‘listen’ which lines they will repeat for effect. And you just watch, eyes glazed, smiling or nodding in all the right places, because those cadences are branded on your brain in a niche reserved for such experiences?
(Maybe you marvel how you ever wondered that your kids can’t focus in class. Or yourself. Think back–teacher’s have these cadences too, some rich, some tedious.)
Not everyone has a dynamic cadence to their voice and speech, captivating their audiences. Some cadences tire you while others make your eyes leap out of their sockets and have you groping the floor for them, to put them back in vowing to hold on tighter.
That’s our task as writers. Our cadences need to pop, bang and sizzle. Other times they need to stealthily sneak up on a reader and envelope them in essence of comfort. Our cadences need to take corners with no warning, twirl the ends of big kaleidoscopes, toss our readers up in roller coasters that end in pools full of rose scented clouds, or of jello dotted with scorpions. Keep–them–guessing. Their heads twisting, their antennae probing, their emotions and sensations pulsing.
As with anything, there is such a thing as overdoing it–my simple advice–do not go there. Things still have to be believable.
We need to test our voice–our cadence–on a heart rate monitor and make sure that line is hopping like an Easter bunny on–well, take your pick of stimulants however illegal and feed it to him in a carrot.
…writes for under 18′s & is currently torturing her first complete manuscript with revision. She encourages all writers thus:
“To know is nothing at all. To imagine is everything” -Anatole France