Metaphors and Similes - Page 4

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  1. #31
    There has been a lot of good advice here about writing metaphors/similes. One is just to try. Have high standards. It's pretty obvious how much an author tries (and what the author is trying to do).

    I agree with the advice that metaphor is stronger. Of course, if the reader might understand the metaphor as literally true, then a simile is needed.

    I think you can get freshness using modern words and concepts.

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle R View Post
    I prefer #3 as well. Crisp and to the point.

    Though I do believe that a feeling can actual "ripen" in a literal sense of the word (as ripen also means: to develop and/or mature to an improved state).
    If you say Bill is like a giraffe, you do not mean he has a heart or lungs (or muscles, DNA, cells, volume, weight). You probably mean he is tall with a long neck. So, giraffe has a metaphorical meaning. That metaphorical meaning is the distinctive feature (or features).

    So, "black hole" was a well defined, concrete term in physics when it was first coined. But it cannot help but have a metaphorical definitionm and it in a sense always had that metaphorical definition. I am not sure at what point that metaphorical definition gets added to dictionaries. Or, I recently used "expiration date" metaphorically. Even if you have never heard that used metaphorically, you can probably guess closely enough at a meaning.

  3. #33
    I guess anything can have a metaphorical use, I can imagine saying to someone "That is a truly 'EmmaSohan' comment." about something they, not Emma, had said. Guess that's a bit of an 'Olly' sort of comment.
    Visit my website to read and connect to my 'soundcloud', where you can listen to stories songs and more
    http://www.oliverbuckle.com/

    A thread of links useful to writers wishing to learn
    Piglet's picks. http://www.writingforums.com/threads...Piglet-s-Picks

  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by EmmaSohan View Post
    1. My melancholy was like a ripening fruit. (simile)
    2. My melancholy was a ripening fruit. (metaphor)
    3. My melancholy ripened.

    Which do you like? #3 is from The King of Lies; I like the author's choice.

    I don't know what to call #3; I have made up my own word, and others call it a metaphor. Since melancholy cannot literally ripen, the reader is forced to think metaphorically. As far as I know, the "impossible word" can be a verb, noun, adverb, adjective, and maybe even a preposition. Personification would be one small part of this type of metaphor (or whatever you want to call it.)

    In looking at books this week, I have been surprised at how much good writers of metaphors and similes don't follow the classic form. Isn't "nothing sandwich" in this category? It again forces us to think metaphorically.
    I like either option two or three depending on the general flow of the work. It isn't just fruit that ripens, so they're not exactly the same in meaning.
    Last edited by luckyscars; August 29th, 2018 at 12:27 AM. Reason: Meant to say option two or three.
    "All good books have one thing in common - they are truer than if they had really happened."

    Ernest Hemingway



  5. #35
    There are always other possibilities,

    A ripening fruit, my melancholy hung
    or
    Like a ripening fruit my melancholy hung
    or
    A ripening fruit of melancholy, hanging, waiting to fall


    There are always more possibilities to be found.
    Visit my website to read and connect to my 'soundcloud', where you can listen to stories songs and more
    http://www.oliverbuckle.com/

    A thread of links useful to writers wishing to learn
    Piglet's picks. http://www.writingforums.com/threads...Piglet-s-Picks

  6. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Darren White View Post
    On the Poetry Discussion Board you can find all sorts of interesting material about this (poets seemingly talk about nothing else). Read for instance the threads by RHPeat, here is one example.
    Zeugma:
    In Greek means "Yoking" and applies to the use of a single word standing in the same grammatical relation to two other terms. A figure of speech in which one word, usually a verb, is used to modify two or more others, but making sense with only one, as in "the fragrance of flowers and the sky..."

    Women whose hands were cold with jewels and thin blood. (The King of Lies)

    "Of course, honey. I'm sorry. Good Evening." I could feel her as she stepped closer, a mixture of perfume and disdain that fell around me like ashes. (The King of Lies)

    I was going to call this metaphor by conjunction, but apparently the Ancient Greeks were first.

    Have you used this? I don't think I have.

    Could you? I will challenge people to use this. Today I got a feeling it might be not be impossible.

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by EmmaSohan View Post
    I will challenge people to use this [Zeugma]. Today I got a feeling it might be not be impossible.
    I apologize for that challenge. I went through a few of my short stories, looking for places where I could add Zeugma. I didn't find any. Worse, the challenge was ambiguous -- definitions on the internet can make Zeugma just goofy.

    No I don't. I added a few really good metaphor/similes to my stories, so the effort was very worthwhile for me. Maybe I just never tried enough before; maybe I didn't know the possibilities; for sure I was working on short stories that absorbed metaphor/simile better than my previous stories. (Like John Hart's books, mood was really important.)

    And I found a few Zeugmas I had already written, if was willing to be generous in the definition -- they were putting items in a group to say something about the last item. It's just a matter of recognizing them:

    I came, I saw, I conquered.
    Think of that as a simile. If you wanted to be obvious (which actually doesn't seem that common in modern writing), it would be: "My conquering was as casual as my coming and looking around."
    Last edited by EmmaSohan; September 15th, 2018 at 04:33 PM. Reason: typos

  8. #38
    If you reach the position Caesar did nothing is done casually, Emma. 'My conquest is the inevitable result of my arriving and seeing'
    Visit my website to read and connect to my 'soundcloud', where you can listen to stories songs and more
    http://www.oliverbuckle.com/

    A thread of links useful to writers wishing to learn
    Piglet's picks. http://www.writingforums.com/threads...Piglet-s-Picks

  9. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Olly Buckle View Post
    If you reach the position Caesar did nothing is done casually, Emma. 'My conquest is the inevitable result of my arriving and seeing'
    Interesting! Allusion has to be the metaphorical most likely to fail, but maybe zeugma is second.

    If he had just written "I conquered" by itself, we would have understood it literally, and our impression of what the conquest was like would be based on our knowledge of Caesar, conquests, the conquered country, and whatever.

    If we don't take the whole phrase as zeugma, then it has the same meaning.

    But most people apparently do take it as a zeugma and give an interpretation that goes beyond the literal meaning. From Wikipedia: "The phrase is used to refer to a swift, conclusive victory."

    And I took it as bragging and showmanship.

  10. #40
    "He looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a piece of cake."

    That's pretty close to being a typical example of a simile. It's extremely creative and vivid.

    And overdone. I laughed. I expect that only in a parody of a detective novel.

    There was a sudden silence as heavy as a waterlogged boat.
    He had a battered face that looked as if it had been hit by everything but the bucket of a dragline.

    Your impression of that may vary. That's Chandler, 1940, a Philip Marlowe story. For all I know he's the original that everyone else parodies.

    Anyway, there are a variety of ways of being metaphorical. My sense is that modern, skilled authors would rather avoid the standard form, if there is a good alternative. They most certainly do not put their similes/metaphors in standard form just by reflex. A simple example:

    Hundreds of voices were shouting over one another in the cafeteria, so that the conversation became mere sound, the rushing of a river over rocks. (Green, Turtles all the Way Down).

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