Metaphors, as you saw in Fahrenheit 451, have the ability to connect and idea or image in your writing to something new. Metaphors can give your writing more dimension and uniqueness. Remember, that a metaphor compares or connects two ideas without using the words like or as.

Read the examples below and notice how the basic idea of the sentence comes to life with a simple metaphor.

It was a really hot afternoon.

The summer afternoon was a melting Popsicle; the humidity dripped off the children running in the backyard.

Our mothers were strong.

Our mothers were headragged generals. --Alice Walker

There are a few techniques to making metaphors work when you write:

Avoid cliches or overused metaphors. Be original and creative.

Avoid confusion.

Example: Liter is a thorn in Springville's image.

First, this is a cliche. Second, the thorn would be in Springville's side, not image. Think though your metaphors. Make sure that they are clear.

Avoid mixing metaphors.
Example: In the final pie eating contest, Jamie Glutton, dodged each of his opponent's attempts to gain the lead and eventually scored the winning shot by eating fifteen blueberry pies.

This metaphor changes from dodging (boxing) to scoring (basketball or soccer).
Use sparingly.

Last modified: Thursday, 24 January 2013, 9:46 AM