Tag Archives: Metaphor

Fiction is hell

Fiction is hell.

Not one word will seep from my pitiful brain on to this accursed page. I don’t have a single idea worth the spirit-sapping monotony of 12pt Courier. My paragraphs are formatted to double-spaced lines, but you couldn’t tell – you’d need two lines.

Utter dejection.

It was all going so well. I’d read about creative writing; I even did a course.

Back then I was happy, naïve. Everything seemed sprinkled with potential; every real-life encounter manifested an event to be mastered; in every sunrise shone the promise of perfect prose.

Continue reading Fiction is hell

Inappropriate metaphors are like Jesus playing ukelele – vivid but unconvincing

I have an odd relationship with metaphors. If someone asks me to come up with one on the spot, my mind freezes, becomes unresponsive. I see an endlessly flipping sand timer, and while I wait for my stupid fat head to reboot, I’m standing there open-mouthed with a text cursor blinking endlessly behind my eyes.

But then, if I’m actually trying to explain something – like my mind going blank – it’s pretty easy to convey that particular feeling with metaphor, in this case using the frustration we all encounter with an ageing PC.

Abstract thoughts can be expressed much more clearly with a metaphor, that’s why we use them. But overuse can be tedious – you don’t have to describe every thought, action and scene in some verbose simile. In fact you positively shouldn’t.

Really tight writing uses narrator-appropriate metaphors. Similarly, bad writing spoils the experience with narrator-inappropriate metaphors.

What do I mean by that?

Continue reading Inappropriate metaphors are like Jesus playing ukelele – vivid but unconvincing