The Question is, what is the obsession with Syllable Count in the Publishing World?
I really like this phrase, “Publishing World”. I’m not ready to admit that publishing is an “industry”. I know that’s a little crazy, but I still have an idealized view of the “Publishing World” compared to say, the Music Industry. Or shall I say the music industry. There. That’s better.
But okay, I found the following at http://www.kidmagwriters.com/tekneek/poets.htm and I was very reassured, but I want to know what you think.
“In general, rhyming poetry tends to be metrical (regulated counts), although it needn’t be because the focus should be on the number of stressed syllables per line.
Metrical with regulated syllable count:
Roses are red (4)
Violets are blue (4) *Note: violets here has two syllables (VI-lets), and not three (VI-o-lets). More on that in a moment
Sugar is sweet (4)
And so are you (4)
Metrical with stressed feet (but not syllable count):
Down by the seashore (2 beats, 5 syllables)
Bess and I (2 beats, 3 syllables)
stood on the sand (2 beats, 4 syllables)
and looked at the sky (2 beats, 5 syllables).
(from Once Upon a Tide by Tony Mitton)
If you clap to the second one, you clap twice per line (down, seashore, Bess, I, stood, sand, looked, sky).
In most cases, one of the above ways of counting and/or clapping should work as you go along. If at any point the clapping part goes awry, there’s a problem, and you should alert the poet.
And there you have it folks, How to Critique Rhyming Children’s Poems by Kelly R. Fineman.”
So why have so many people (writers, editors, agents – well really not so many – about a dozen writers, one agent and one editor) been making such a big deal about the number of syllables per line in one my stories that I have been working on? No, I’m not going to post the story, I’m currently revising it. (-; And I think that this question can easily be answered without reading the story. The story is a favorite and I’d like to get it right, so please, post your answers to this one! Thanks!