Metaphor Magic

A fresh, vibrant metaphor is a valuable tool in our writer’s kitbag. It evokes powerful images and connections in a reader’s mind.

In a nutshell, creating a metaphor involves comparing two different things to show how they’re related without using like or as. Basically, you are saying X=Y by bringing two dissimilar things together.

Creating and sharing a fresh, evocative metaphor is exciting, for both you as a writer and for your readers: You are helping them see the world in a new, often surprising way and making connections that reveal how your mind works. Metaphors can be magical!

Here are a few we’ve all probably heard or read: “blanket of snow,” “raining cats and dogs,” “a rollercoaster of emotions,” “late bloomer.”

Here are some examples of well-known metaphors:

From the Bible: “The Lord is my shepherd” and “The Lord is my rock.”

From Shakespeare’s Othello: “jealousy…is the green-ey’d monster which doth mock/The meat it feeds on,” from Othello.

From Shakespeare’s As You Like It: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”

From Emily Dickinson: “Hope is the thing with feathers/ That perches in the soul/ And sings the tune without the words/ And never stops at all.”

From Marcel Proust: “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming bartenders who make our soul’s blossom.”

From William Wordsworth: “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”

From Van Gogh: “Conscience is a man’s compass.”

Here are a few questions to ponder as you begin to play with this tricky, but timeless tool: What’s the best, most powerful metaphor you’ve ever written? Has creating it strengthened your ability to observe and make comparisons? Is simplicity key to metaphor?

Write on!

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About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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