How old were you when you first learned about similes and metaphors? I was about ten, and I remember experiencing some confusion over these interesting figures of speech. While I won't say I've mastered them, I do understand them better now. It is amazing how they enhance our writing, isn't it?
As you know, the simile is a comparison of two things using the words like or as.
Here are two examples. (Don't laugh, okay? I may still have residual ten year old trauma as I was only able to identify them when I spotted the words like or as.)
He ran as fast as an antelope.
Her smile was as bright as the morning sunshine.
The metaphor further stymied my young brain, but I eventually saw how they make a comparison or an analogy, showing the relationship between two things.
Thank you for not laughing at these examples either.
Autumn is the relief valve for summer.
The lake is a shimmering oasis on the landscape.
Metaphors convey a mood, and create a stronger impression than a simile. They provide powerful and stirring images for the reader.
In her post Inside the Metaphor, Angela Ackerman of The Bookshelf Muse defines a metaphor by saying one thing is another. Angela also tells us how to build strong metaphors, and cites examples for those of us who need more practice (like me!).
Writing similes and metaphors is a great cross training technique. If you feel up to the challenge, check out this link. K.L. Oberst shares an interesting exercise in metaphors that will jump-start even the most reluctant imagination.
How are your simile and metaphor skills? Have you come across any interesting ones lately?
Anyone care to write one to go with the picture above? If so, please share it!
Have a fabulous weekend,
Photo credit: Stock Exchange
Copyright 2012, Karen Lange.