a partridge in a pear tree, which in creative writing terms is an excellent example of alliteration, so this is what I’m going to look at in the first verse of my Creative Writing Christmas Carol.
Alliteration is when you cluster the same consonants together for acoustic effect. The Partridge in a Pear Tree, which dates from 1780, is stuffed full of them and the fact that you have to get your tongue round the lords a leaping and the maids a milking gives the lyrics a bright staccato quality that compliments the music.The reason for using alliteration is to make your prose (or poetry) more resonant, so that the words you choose capture the sound of what you are describing. For example, seven swans a swimming perfectly sums up the slow glide of the swans swimming upstream (you see, I’m doing it too.). Alliteration isn’t just used for decorative purposes, it can give emphasis to phrases (think tabloid headlines) and helps to create atmosphere as well. Used judiciously, it can add a certain je ne sais quoi to your work as it suggests stylistic confidence. It’s a handy tool in the creative writing kit.