My name is Melanie, and I adore alliteration. If there's a way to work a word into a sentence that sounds similar to the one before, I'll do it. When I worked in advertising, my boss berated me (jokingly) for always asserting my ingenious ideas into our brainstorming sessions, but I can't help myself. It's like a gift.
Over the weekend I came upon a passage that I'd passed over once before, a simple scene in a strip club parking lot. I was trying to describe the sound of several SUV engines starting all at once. "Mechanical melody" had been burrowed into my head from the beginning, but I knew I should avoid alliteration at all costs. I tested thesaraus.com (my go-to guy for all things word related) and it hinted at harmony as another possibility. I still wasn't sure, so I went to facebook.
My writing friends all (mostly) agreed that a little alliteration* is fine -- it's when it disrupts the reader that you should stop. After some back and forth, in which Spy explained that "harmony" is more musically accurate than "melody", my friend Jen suggested "symphony." I settled on that, and moved on.
But then I noticed more alliteration. Seems it's snuck into every scene. On the very next page I'd written "...he felt a connection with the fleeing coyote and sensed a warning in its wake." I think that falls into the category of not pulling the reader from the story, but I'm worried my words have gotten away from me!
I'm keeping my eye out for more. Any odd writing devices that you can't help but include?
*That one just made my day, and I swear it rolled off my tongue that way.
Bonus Track: another weakness of mine is looking up words on dictionary.com and clicking the button to hear the pronunciation. I think I need to get out more.