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Creative Writing Exercises For Dummies by Maggie Hamand

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Chapter 15

Managing Metaphors, Similes and Symbols

In This Chapter

arrow Strengthening your writing with metaphors

arrow Smiling on the use of similes

arrow Using symbols successfully

Metaphors, symbols and similes are all around you – in everyday conversation, scientific enquiry and across the media, like (dare I say) a plague of locusts. But they’re also valuable writing devices that allow you to communicate strong messages to your readers and create layers under the surface of your fiction, thus making your work more profound. So, without doubt, at some points in your writing you’re sure to want to use these powerful literary tools.

Metaphors, similes and symbols aren’t easy to handle, though. If you use them obviously, they draw too much attention to themselves, and as the writer you can appear to be jumping up and shouting, ‘Look how clever I am!’ This is very off-putting: it takes readers out of the story and makes them look at the writing itself as words on a page, instead of enjoying the effect the story has on them. Clunky metaphors and similes and over-obvious symbols destroy the very effect you’re trying to create.

If you employ these tools well, however, your readers don’t notice that ...

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