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Revising Rhetorical Devices

Rhetorical devices are rich, fragrant, heady flavors. In cooking, a talented chef knows the right amount to add and what dishes a spice complements.

Writing rhetorical devices takes the same deft hand. As with compound or cumulative sentences, the rhetorical devices should be placed with precision and intention. They should be used at a moment requiring poignancy, pathos, joy, fear, tension or horror. The bulk of your construction should be simple and compound sentences. If not, your devices become so overwhelming, you reader chokes on them.

As you read through each chapter, underline rhetorical devices you have already inserted.

1) Is it in the right place for emphasis or placed there accidentally?  Make sure the rhetorical devices make the most impact. Take out the ones that distract at the wrong moment.

2) Highlight or circle the stress points of your chapter or scene. What does the moment call for? Which rhetorical device would best service that moment? 

3) Is it strong? Can it be strengthened?

4) Is the device overused or cliché abuse? 

5) Is it formatted correctly?

6) Does the rhetorical device add to the meaning of the moment? They should contain surprises, depth, twists, and punches.

You many never remember the titles of the devices, but keeping this list and consciously excavating your manuscript for them or sprinkling them in will lift you to master class writer.

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