It's a simple concept: the repetition of a letter or sound. Easy enough.

The wobbly walrus waddled toward the wall.

Alliteration is great for poetry. A wonderful example is from my favorite poet and writer, Edgar Allen Poe.

"Once upon a midnight dreary while I pondered weak and weary"
(notice how even though Once starts with an "o" it makes a "w" sound, so it's included as part of the alliteration)
I won't highlight the entire poem for you, as there are many examples of alliteration throughout (and you might begin to feel like you're in a college poetry class). But that one example shows us the fluidity it brings to the poem.

So why the heck is it important in novel writing? And is it necessary?

Well, for one, it could add a layer and flavor to your writing that might not otherwise be there. For another, alliteration has a natural tendency to feel familiar, and brings your reader a relate-able language (so long as it's not overdone). But no, it's not necessary.

I do prefer to use alliteration in my writing. And many times it happens without my thinking about it. Guess that's the inner poet in me shining through. :)

What about you? Do you use alliteration?


Laura Pauling said…
I love well placed alliteration even though many people think it's a big no no. It should be so well placed that readers don't even know why they loved a particular sentence!
Anonymous said…
Two thumbs up!!!
I've done it too--though often by accident. :D
Ciara said…
I had to say these everyday in speech therapy when I was a kid. I love them now. LOL Great post, Amie.
You have a fabulous blog! I want to award you with one of my homemade awards: Powerful Woman Writer Award for all the hard work you do!

Go to and pick up your award.
If I use alliterations, does that make me alliterate? :-)
Lola X said…
Great blog!!!!! Love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lola x
Angela Felsted said…
I like these posts, and yes, I think I do you use it, but not consciously.

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