A metaphor is a weapon
…and a simile is like a weapon. That’s my mnemonic device to remember the difference between the two figures of speech. It’s also a true statement. A well-placed metaphor or simile can be a powerful tool in your writing. They clarify ideas; they introduce imagery. So it’s important to make sure they’re conveying the ideas and images you intend.
What do I mean? Well, if a metaphor or simile is not logically sound then it lands like a lame joke. With crickets. Though “a metaphor is a bird without fins” may sound profound, unless an explanation is included for why a bird would have fins in the first place, the idea just leaves the reader confused. Another thing to consider is tone. Similes and metaphors must match the tone of the rest of the piece. The simile “Clara held her boyfriend’s love in her hand like a bloody dagger” wouldn’t really fit in a romantic comedy. Similes and metaphors can easily change the tone of a piece, too. The difference between “Clara held the weapon of her boyfriend’s love in her hand” and “Clara held the butterfly of her boyfriend’s love in her hand” is only one word.
April ‘Poetry’ Slam: Microprose
Charles Dickens was paid by the word, and it shows. I mean, if you’ve ever read Oliver Twist, we bet you found yourself wondering if all those words were really necessary to move the story forward. It’s a question we should all face every day while editing our own work, to be honest: why all these words? How can we tell our story without forcing the reader to slog through a whole bunch of extra text and without losing the essence or the voice? This month, instead of looking for ways to flesh out your writing, we’ll be talking about ways to trim it down – just in time for the first grid of our monthly microprose challenge! Learn more from Christine here.
Prompt Up is our optional weekly writing prompt for the fiction|poetry challenge! Here’s how it works: we choose a sentence prompt from last week’s winning nonfiction post and announce it in the kickoff. It’s your job to use that prompt in your poem or story and then run with it. The prompt is just a springboard, though: feel free to use it as your first sentence, move it, change it, or float it down to other territories.
This week’s Prompt Up comes to us from Laissez Faire’s post, In Between the Blurred Lines. It is: “They freaked me out.”
How to submit and fully participate in the challenge:
Basic YeahWrite guidelines: 750 word limit; your entry can be dated no earlier than this past Sunday; fiction or poetry only.
1. In the sidebar of this week’s post, please grab the code beneath the fiction|poetry badge and paste it into the HTML view of your entry;
2. Follow the Inlinkz instructions after clicking “add your link” to upload your entry to this week’s challenge grid;
3. Your entry should appear immediately on the grid if you don’t receive an error message;
4. Please make the rounds to read all the entries in this week’s challenge; and
5. Consider turning off moderated comments and CAPTCHA on your own blog.
Submissions for this week’s challenges will close on Wednesday at 10pm ET. Voting will then open immediately thereafter and close on Thursday at 10pm ET. The winners, as always, will be celebrated on Friday.
Thank you for sharing with us your hard work! Good luck in the challenge…
About the author:
As a professional editor and writer, Nate has published his work in numerous English and history textbooks and in on-line reading programs. In February 2014, he found his way back to creative writing and began submitting to YeahWrite. Soon after, he became an editor of the Fiction|Poetry challenge. You can read his work at The Relative Cartographer, a blog that has been recognized by WordPress, Five Star Mix-tape, Genealogy á la Cart, and BlogHer’s Voice of the Year. He lives in Chicago with his partner, a French princess, and a jungle explorer.