Polecats and Rhythm

| January 27, 2009 | 0 Comments

Remember the movie “Seven Brides For Seven Brothers?”  One of their choreographed song and dance numbers demonstrate how you can use Rhythm, one of the 12 languages of the mind, to tinker with stranger’s minds.

…Turning strangers into customers is simply the task of getting them to see things as you do. But, it’s easier said than done.

You have an arsenal of languages from which to choose. Words, colors, shapes, motions, smells, and music are but just a few.  There are approximately 12 languages of the mind and a basketful of shadow languages you can use to tinker with strangers’ minds.

Rhythm is a subtle aspect of these languages rarely talked about. How does your writing sound? Does the rhythm of the music overshadow the lyrics to get the message across?

Everyone has their own rhythm. It’s felt. It comes from deep within you. And it’s hard to teach.

I try to find rhythm in writing by using short sentences and varying their length. There’s nothing wrong with long sentences. They just get out of control and take the reader’s mind into dark corners with no escape hatch.

Sentence fragments help vary the length. Forget Mrs. Batista and her 5th grade grammar. Fragments work.

I caught myself the other night watching a 1954 musical, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers. I was fascinated by the rhythm of one of the numbers. Watch this four minute clip and then tell me that you don’t get caught up more in the rhythm of the whole than the actual words. The opening line of the song is “I’m just a lonesome polecat…” and another line “man can’t sleep when he’s sleeping with sheep.” Go ahead, make these lines rhythmic! Note: It’s even cool with the French subtitles…

Want to sharpen your rhythm skills. Read aloud. Read your writing and others out loud. Your gut will identify the good rhythms.

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