Metaphors are woven through the English language. New ones add brilliant color; old ones recall threadbare clichés. Even then, they glitter between faded, worn-out words.
Make your writing sizzle.
Do these phrases jump out at you?
- She has a special place in my heart.
- I’m at the height of my career.
- Education is the gateway to success.
- He's living in the fast lane.
- She followed in her mother’s footsteps.
- A blanket of snow fell last night.
- First write a black and white sentence: "Jane wrote a boring cookbook that needs something."
- Now pick a word that needs more color: "boring."
- "Boring" + color + cookbook theme = stale.
- Reach into the sentence for another word: "wrote."
- "Wrote" + color + cookbook theme = baked.
- Grab one more word: "something."
- "Something" + color + cookbook theme= shortening.
- Rewrite the bland sentence using the spicy words: "Jane baked a stale cookbook that needs shortening."
~Scour this post for metaphors—there's at least one in every sentence. Example: "Do any of these phrases jump out at you?" (Although sentences can sound jumpy, words can't really jump.)
~Twist a classic cliché. Examples: "She blew my cover." "You send me." "He puts the ring in my bell." A twist could be, "I'd like a diamond ring in my bell."
~Write a paragraph stuffed with metaphors. Here's the key: a metaphor is a comparison that doesn't use the words like or as. Just super-charging a verb revs up a sentence. Go crazy! (Metaphorically speaking.)