You probably use metaphors every day when you speak in conversation. Even if you don’t realize you do, these small pieces of comparative language help us contextualize our world. The power of these comparisons engages parts of the brain that evoke emotion making us love the written word or hate a piece of prose altogether. Learning how to wield these valuable tools can transform your writing regardless of the format.
The human race has relied on stories for thousands of years to relay important information, warn others about particular events and pass down morality tales. From Aesop’s Fables to the Bible to the current latest genre book, metaphors help us relate to our world and transform the written word. A metaphor compares two ideas or things that may seem completely unrelated or be similar. The figurative language tool adds deep layers to your writing. Similes are similar to metaphors but use comparative tools like or as to make the comparisons. Metaphors are much deeper and creative than similes.
When you strike the right balance between clarity and interesting, the language excites and engages the reader. Figures of speech like metaphors can enhance the power of the writing when wielded effectively. Here are some examples of what a metaphor looks like. He melted her heart of ice. Her image danced upon the water. A river of tears washed down her face.
Learning how to properly wield the tool can evoke longing, sadness, joy and anger in the reader. Metaphors can spur someone to take action that they may not have otherwise such as finally getting on board with recycling or adopting a child or regularly brushing their teeth. Poetry, fiction, memoir, creative nonfiction, short stories and even blogs all benefit from using metaphors to spice up the writing. Adding visual elements to your writing
Overusing the figures of speech can bog down your writing and create confusion. While metaphors are a great way to address complicated topics to help readers understand, they can also confuse the reader if the comparison is off or too many are used. Forcing the figures of speech into your writing slows it down and pulls the reader out. Cliches are metaphors that are overused such as it’s raining cats and dogs. Steering clear of them can enhance your writing. Sometimes they can add a cheesy element if that is what the writer wants. Some cultures and parts of society may not appreciate metaphors. When using metaphors to pertain to certain cultures, be sure that the metaphor comes across as intended. Certain metaphorical language may go over the heads of your readers or confuse them on the meaning.
Figures of speech can have a positive impact on your writing. Whether your child turns in a short story or an essay on environmental pollution, well-placed metaphors can impact the reader in ways other forms of speech do not. Use them wisely to help the reader understand a complicated topic or engage their emotions.
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