What Did You Learn?

April 15, 2010

General Writing: When to Use a Metaphor…

Filed under: General Writing — Tags: — ax20 @ 11:56 pm

…and a simile for that matter.

If you can make a great comparison in your write, you have the ability to enhance your story. But if not, don’t force it. A metaphor should make something clearer (such as compare the appearance of a monster in your story to something else that the average person would understand as a way of helping them imagine what it looks like). It should be smooth and seamless, and obviously relate to the thing you are talking about.

Metaphors for the sake of metaphors are never a good idea. They make the story feel overburdened, like the writer was trying so hard to make it work because they couldn’t get it right. Not only that, but overusing metaphors is a bad idea too. There should never be so many that it feels like every other sentence has one. Think about it, you don’t think in constant metaphor so why would you want to read in constant metaphor? (Why would you want to read something that constantly makes you think of other things? Not every single one can be helpful and elaborate on things.)

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