Alliteration, when done well, can make a book stand out. Lovely words that trip delightfully over your tongue can turn a blasé picture book into a masterpiece.
Some Dos and Don’ts with Alliterations
Words that go together in unexpected ways can make a story pop. Let alliterations help set the mood, pace, and tone. A story about a train, for instance, might have choppy words that force the reader to huff and puff up a hill, but easily readable words on the next page as the train glides down the other side.
Alliterative Animal names tend to be cliché. Names such as Milly Mole and Skipper Squirrel tell us little about the characters’ personalities. In this example, the alliteration gets between the reader and the story.
Do Tickle the Tongue
Read all your work aloud and test its readability. In some cases you will want the alliteration to force the reader to slow down, but make sure it is still pleasant to read.
Don’t Twist the Tongue
The last thing you want is a reader to put down your book because it was not fun to read. Make sure all tongue twisters are on purpose, and provide a challenge, but not so hard that the reader gives up.