Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Invigorate Your Writing - the Figurative Way!



Yesterday, over at Middle Zone Musings, Robert Hruzek announced the August What I Learned From... group writing project. He gives us a definition of a simile and metaphor, and offers great examples of each one. After taking care of that important matter, he tells us that this month he wants us to write about what life is to us in metaphor form.

Robert's writing prompt got me to thinking about how important using figurative language can be to your writing. Why should you use it and what purpose does it serve? Using figurative language, a simile or metaphor, has the potential to make abstract, general, or unfamiliar ideas easier to grasp. It breathes new life, meaning, and depth into a dying sentence.

What is a simile?

A simile is figurative language in which the writer says that two things are like each other - usually using the words like or as.

His eyes were as cold and stony as a piece of granite.

Her heart felt light like a feather.

What is a metaphor?

A metaphor is the use of figurative language in which the writer says or implies that one thing actually is another. The element of comparison that is present in a simile is not there in a metaphor.

My daughter is a real pistol when she is angry!

After running three miles, my body begged me to stop and rest.

You probably already know that my daughter is not literally a pistol, or that my body does not beg me to do or not do anything. Metaphors and similes give the reader something that you don't get by simply saying, "My daughter can get real angry," or "I was so tired I wanted to stop running." You get a real visual, a more intense and interesting feeling and a much better read.

Give it a whirl. Practice with your figurative language and watch it spice up your writing!

Until next time, have a blessed day!

17 comments:

Brad Shorr said...

Lisa, you are so right about how metaphors and similes spice up writing. Robert's project was an excellent writing exercise - are you contributing an entry?

Lisa Vella said...

Hi Brad,

Yes, I'm planning on it. How about you? I always look forward to your entries! Thanks for stopping by!

Have a wonderful day!

Lisa

key said...

This reminds me of those times I would argue with my roommate in college about metaphors. He would say I used too many, and I would say he uses too few. Maybe we're both right.

Teresa Lynne said...

Great post and I love your blog!

Lisa Vella said...

Tim,

I would have to say that there is definitely a happy medium when it comes to figurative language! Finding the right balance for your writing is key!

Thanks so much for visiting my blog, as well as for the comment! Have a wonderful day!

Lisa

Lisa Vella said...

Teresa Lynne,

Thank you so much for your lovely compliments! I hope that means you will be back again!

Take care and have a blessed day!

Lisa

Free Directory List said...

really a informative article.i always use simile and also metaphor in my writing.but i didn't heard about them.thanks to Lisa Vella for her post.

Lotus Notes said...

I always look forward to your entries! Lisa, you are so right about how metaphors and similes spice up writing.Thank you so much for your lovely compliments!

Online Fruit Machines said...

Lisa, you are so right about how metaphors and similes spice up writing.Thank you so much for your lovely compliments!Really it's informative.Thanks for sharing such post among the world....

pmp exam said...

I would like to say that "there is definitely a happy medium when it comes to figurative language!"I enjoy your written technique... Thanks for sharing

Slot Machines said...

Thank you so much for your lovely compliments! I hope that means you will be back again! I like your way of writing. Really smart.I like your topic as well as your post.

web 2.0 design said...

figurative language!!! nice anyhow thanks for this awesome post i liked it very much....and in this post u mentioned two links i found some useful things from "group writing project". :D

selena said...

One can truly enhance writing with these amazing metaphor ansd simile usage. Great post.

Lillie Ammann said...

Lisa,
I've missed reading updates here. I hope you're just busy and that's nothing's wrong. Hoping that's the case, I thought maybe I would motivate you to post by tagging you for a meme. If you'd like to participate, you can read about it on my blog. Regardless of whether you respond to the tag or not, I hope to see more posts here soon!

Proxy said...

Lisa, you are so right about how metaphors and similes spice. I like your way of writing. Really smart. You discussed it so easily. Thanks for that. Thanks for sharing this in your post with us. I hope that means you will be back again!

complaints said...

hey Lisa thanks for this awesome post ... but the specific thing is i liked your metaphore definition. keep it up and missing ya dear.

Essays said...

Thanks for the nice post, Lisa. I believe that figurative language is indeed important in writing. It enhances the writer's piece of writing that will create a "sense of art" in the minds of those who will read it. I am a book report writer and I used figurative language in my reviews and reports to create a vivid description in the minds of my readers.