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Posts tagged ‘simile’

Use rhetorical devices to evoke readers’ emotion

My mom loved puzzles. She spent most of my childhood in our little mom amd pop grocery store, and in between ringing up customers, stocking shelves, and keeping me occupied, she loved to work on puzzles. Crosswords. Cryptograms. Hangman. Word search. Maybe this is where my love of words came from.

I never enjoyed puzzles like Mom did, but it dawned on me a few years ago that writing poetry is my form of puzzle work. I enjoy hunting for just the right word. Sometimes I wonder if the joy I feel when a poem finally comes together is what Mom felt when she successfully completed a crossword.

Another part of puzzling together a poem is the fun I have in playing with rhetorical devices. What are rhetorical devices?  Read more

How to create a metaphor practice, part 2

In my last post, I wrote about the benefits of starting a metaphor practice and gave one exercise for doing so (by using a template from a writer you admire). Below is another exercise to add to your metaphor or simile practice:

Make a List: Find a spot where you think a metaphor might work in a scene and write down the subject. Example: As I write my scenes, I can usually tell when a metaphor or simile will add spark to my page. In my last scene, I wanted a simile to describe how a house looked from the outside at night. So I wrote down the subject “house lit up.”  Read more

How to create a metaphor practice, part 1

Before I sit down and “go in” to my writing for the day, I like to do a few warm ups—kind of like a singer going through her repertoire before going on stage.

I might reread a few pages from the day before or maybe do a free-write on an aspect of my story I’m still trying to figure out. Sometimes, I’ll play around with creating metaphors or similes that I might use in my story. All of these are a great way to get my creative juices flowing.

Reminder: a simile compares two different things and usually uses the words “like” or “as” in the comparison; a metaphor describes two different things by stating that one thing is the other or has some of its qualities.

Simile: his eyes were as blue as the ocean

Metaphor: his eyes were the ocean

What are the benefits of creating a metaphor practice? Read more

Three ways to use word riffs

One of my favorite writer’s tools is to practice word riffs. To me, word riffing is like playing a musical instrument (of course, that’s where the term riffing comes from). I’m learning to play guitar and one of the things I like to do is randomly strum away, making up my own little songs (often sung to my cats and starring their names—they just love that).

First, some tips for word riffing:

  • Make it fun and playful. Don’t make it serious—if the right word doesn’t come this time, know that it will next time.
  • Use a timer and write fast without stopping. This helps keep me focused and to the point. It allows me to go deeper and find more gems. I set my timer for 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Let it all out—first, you have to dump the garbage to make room for the treasures. Think of decluttering your office space. Once you get rid of the clutter, everything seems to flow better, doesn’t it? It’s the same thing with your brain. Write down everything that comes to your mind—the dumb words, the clichés, etc. If you don’t, you’ll just be storing it to come out later.
  • You can use word riffing for a phrase as well as one single word. Though I find focusing on one word at a time easier and more fun! Read more