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Rhetorical Devices in Writing

Good writing contains rhetorical devices. You probably already use them but may not know what they are called or even how many there are. 

In fiction, there are 27 rhetorical devices that authors can pick through to make their writing stand out. 
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Here are three to try out in your own work.

Conduplicatio--big word for saying start a sentence with a strong word from the previous sentence.

Examples are from Mind of Her Own by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer

Example of conduplicatio:
Collin sank down in the chair next to Louisa's bed. She looked paler than his daughter's collectible porcelain dolls. "You don't remember us?"

"Remember you? No. I've never met you."

Why this works--Lousia has amnesia so the repeating of the word remember adds a subtle hint without re-stating the fact.

Epizeuxis--repeating a word for emphasis

Example of epizeuxis:

"How many kids are there?"
"Just the three," he said.
"Three? Just three? Do you--we--have a nanny?" She rubbed the side of her face with her palm.

Why this works:  Louisa doesn't remember having any kids and now she finds out there are three.

Alusion--a high-speed mention of famous person or event--just a mention, don't use description

Example of allusion:

She'd worn her cousin Amy's old shoes when she was younger, and she had vowed never again to wear another person's shoes. Yet here she was, sliding a cold navy croc on her foot. "It fits."

"Yes, Cinderella it does." He plopped on the bed beside her.

Why this works:  Cinderella is mentioned and then the action moves forward from there, it's not brought up again.

Try these three out on a chapter that you're working on and see if it makes a difference.

Click to tweet: Spice up your writing with Rhetorical Devices

New Release out from Diana Lesire Brandmeyer and Liz Tolsma!

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