Making Comparisons

Last week, we talked about Hyperboles. This week, we’ll focus on The Simile and The Metaphor.

These are also descriptions using figurative (non-literal) language, but they are not necessarily exaggerations.

They are both used to compare two things, actions, or ideas that are not alike. They make writing more descriptive, persuasive, and poetic. Writers of fiction, poetry, and song lyrics often use either or both similes and metaphors. 

An easy way to tell them apart is that metaphors do not use the words “as” or “like,” whereas similes do.

Example of a famous metaphor: Eyes are windows to the soul.

Here, the meaning is implied through comparison—that a person’s eyes can reveal a lot of information to the observer.

Example of a well-know simile: Without glasses, my father is as blind as a bat.

Here, the meaning is that someone’s vision is poor. He is not blind; he just needs to wear glasses.

I see the use of similes and metaphors more and more today, especially in historical fiction, suspense, and YA.


Can You Say It? Write It?

Hyperbole is a statement of exaggeration used for effect, to make a point, or show emphasis. 

It’s saying (or writing) things like: “I’m so hungry, I could eat a horse” or “Your luggage weighs a ton.” 

Hyperboles are used in stand-up routines, sitcoms, advertising, and all types of creative writing, including fiction.

Writers need to remember, however, that a little goes a long way when using this tool. In other words, the less often you use it, the more effective it will be. 

Stay away from hyperboles that are tired and overused. Instead, they should surprise and delight your readers.

The trick is to give them an original twist. It’s fun.

Try changing on of the examples (above) into one that is original and fresh.