Metaphors and stuff…

29 Aug

To paint our words with brighter colours a writer has some amazing tools in his or her tool basket. Probably the most important one, is METAPHORS.  They are great figures of speech and blow life into the words we write. They sprinkle them with extra spirit, depth and originality. They say that good metaphors are a sign of genius. Which means that mastering the skill that is writing metaphors is a very good thing if you want to be a good writer.

Just to remind you what metaphors are:
A metaphor is a figure of speech that uses symbolism. It compares two things that are NOT similar and show that they actually do share a similarity. There is an additional meaning to a word, which means it includes symbolism.

Now, what is more powerful? He was overcome with sadness. OR: He was drowning in a sea of sorrow. Exactly…metaphors are your friend. An entire story can be a metaphor, but then it is called an ALLEGORY. Stories like that will show symbolism throughout the entire story.

There are more tools in the tool basket of a writer. There is also this thing called a SIMILE. This is when you compare two things and you use either ‘like’ or ‘as’.
Examples: He was cold as a stone. She laughed like a wounded animal.
I’m a big fan of this tool, they have great impact on the minds of the readers and are easier to write than metaphors. They can also be used more often than metaphors. They differ from a metaphor, because a metaphor compares two unlikely things by saying that the one thing IS the other thing. With similes it’s clear that they’re being compared and are only similar. If you keep mentioning that things are in fact other things, it might take away the power (of the metaphor). With similes that isn’t the case although I would suggest not to use them in every sentence, but at least regularly.

HYPERBOLE, which is an exaggerated statement to give power to what you’re saying. For instance when you’re tired or hungry and you say: I could sleep for an eternity or I could eat a horse.

And two others that should be mentioned are ANTITHESIS and OXYMORON. An antithesis is a figure of speech that brings out contrast in the ideas by an obvious opposition in the words or (parts of) the sentence within a parallel grammatical structure.

So: Many are called, but few are chosen. When one man speaks, another man listens. When you’re single, you want to be in a relationship and when you’re in a relationship, you want to be single.

An oxymoron is a figure of speech in which contradictions are combined. Like: a deafening silence. A silent scream. Turn up missing. Old news. Alone together.

There you have it, a couple of tools you might find handy to liven up the words you carefully display on the pages of your story. Good luck and may the force (of Words) be with you.

 

 metaphor-cartoon

 

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2 Responses to “Metaphors and stuff…”

  1. kquintana August 30, 2013 at 2:16 am #

    I agree. Metaphors are really under appreciated. I once read someone’s WIP where she had the most incredible metaphors and I was entranced.

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