Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sunny Benson – Using Similes and Metaphors

at 1:30 AM

Using Similes and Metaphors to Reinforce the Context, Tone, and Setting of a Novel

by Sunny Benson

Authors employ metaphors and similes to inject color and imagery into their writing. Metaphors consist of figurative statements that refer to the state of being of some object, concept, or person. For instance, Groucho Max stated, “A hospital bed is a parked taxi with a meter running.” Cynthia Oznick wrote in Rosa, “The streets were a furnace, the sun an executioner”.

Meant literally, similes directly reference the comparison being made and commonly contain the words “like” or “as”. For example, in Little Women, Louisa May Alcott wrote, “She tried to get rid of the kitten who had scrambled up her back and stuck like a burr just out of reach”. As a second example, the book January Exposure contains the simile, “As sweet as an undiagnosed diabetic’s blood.”

Metaphor                                                       Simile

A hospital bed is a parked taxi                      A hospital bed is like a parked taxi

The streets were a furnace                             The streets were like a furnace

The sun was an executioner                          The sun was like an executioner

The kitten is a burr just out of reach           The kitten is like a burr just out of reach

She is diabetic’s blood                                      Sweet as an undiagnosed diabetic’s blood

The usefulness of similes and metaphors can exceed that of a clever, vibrant mechanism for connecting two objects. Writers can use carefully crafted similes and metaphors to reinforce the setting and tone of a novel and keep the reader absorbed in the novel’s fictitious world.

The similes listed below reside within the book January Exposure.

  1. “…hit me with the surprise of an unexpected snowball to the back of the head.”
  2. “…stomach churned like a snowplow.”
  3. “…lured bargoers out…like a salt lick does to deer.”

After reading the three similes, would you expect the book to entail a romance situated in Jamaica, a tragic drama located in Connecticut, a humorous mystery set in North Dakota, or a novel set during August in New York City?

If you guessed humorous mystery set in North Dakota, you’re “as wise as an owl”. From the similes listed above, you discerned clues regarding the climate (snowball and snowplow), the tone of the novel (jocular), and the setting (rural due to the mention of a salt lick and deer).

Similes and metaphors enable authors to employ creative parallels between objects, concepts, and people to reinforce the context, tone, and setting of a novel. Take advantage of similes and metaphors to keep the reader immersed in the world of your novel.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Mystery

Rating – PG13

More details about the author & the book

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Website http://www.sunnybenson.com/

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