Similes and Metaphors and How to Tell Them Apart
Similes and Metaphors are a pain in the fanny. It isn’t nearly as important to know the names of them as it is to know how to use them properly so we’re going to give you some examples. Personification is easy.
Contest winners and successful freelance writers know all about figurative language. Creative writing techniques involve figures of speech like similes, metaphors and personification. Spice up your writing with these little secrets. Readers and writers use their senses to cope with the outside world. Figures of speech help us use those senses to visualize powerful images. Remember – a little spice is good. A lot is bad – so use all techniques sparingly. Study these samples:
1. The Simile – Similes compare things that are not alike by using a comparing word such as LIKE or AS.
• She’s as thin as a stick of spaghetti.
• Ted ducked, but too slowly to avoid it completely; the bottom of the vase struck the top of his head, skipped like a stone on a pond, hit the wall and shattered. (From “Hearts in Atlantis” S. King)
2. The Metaphor – Metaphors compare things that are not alike without using a comparing word. The comparison is implied and does not use comparing words such as “like” or “as”.
• The evening sun wore a cloak of fiery orange.
• He was an old warhorse.
3. Personification – A figure of speech that gives animals, a thing or an idea the same characteristics as a human being.
• … homes breathing the smell of mildew and dry rot from their broken windows. (From Harper’s Magazine: “St. Sault Marie” by David Means)
• … a blot of ash on the soul of Ireland. (From “Cathedral” by Nelson Demille)
Try spotting your own figures of speech as you read, read, read. When you can spot them, you’ll be able to endorse them into your own writing. Get lots of FREE writing tips in our newsletter, The Writer’s Choice. Find it at Creative Writing Institute. Thanks for stopping by!