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!